Canadian Fed Cup team trails 2-0 to Slovakia after day one

245
Françoise Abanda

Abanda and Schmiedlova fall in three sets to Cibulkova and Wozniak

Bratislava, April 16, 2016 – The Canadian Fed Cup team trails 2-0 to Slovakia after day one of their Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II playoff tie which is being played at the Aegon Arena. Françoise Abanda (Montreal) fell 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 to Dominika Cibulkova and Aleksandra Wozniak (Blainville, QC) fell 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

In the first match of the day, Abanda started strong, breaking her opponent in the opening game. Her break held up through the end of the first set to take a 6-4 lead. Cibulkova changed her tactics after going down early and made just 15 errors in the final two sets. She lost only three points on serve in the final frame to beat Abanda for the second time in as many meetings. The two players faced off at the 2014 Rogers Cup where Cibulkova posted a 6-1, 3-6, 6-0 win.

Wozniak came close to leveling the tie in the second match. Playing in her 51st Fed Cup match, she lead 2-0 in the first set and had her chances to go up 3-0 only to see Schmiedlova overcome the deficit and win the set. The 28-year-old drew on her experience to force a third frame, but ultimately came up short after two hours, 47 minutes of play and a match point saved.

Canada will need to win all three matches on Sunday to take the tie. The winner will qualify for World Group II for 2017 while the loser will be relegated to the Zone Group I competition. After reaching the elite World Group for the first time in 2014, Canada is attempting to qualify for World Group II for the fifth time since the new Fed Cup format was introduced in 2005. Slovakia has not been excluded from World Group II since 2006. 

QUOTES
 
“I played a great first set, but Dominika is a very good player and she was able to raise her level of play and come away with the win. I didn’t feel 100% physically, so that didn’t help. I was sick last week so my preparation wasn’t ideal, but I fought as hard as I could for my country.” 
– Françoise Abanda

“It was a difficult day with two close matches that unfortunately did not go our way. I am proud of Françoise and Aleksandra. They gave everything they had and showed a lot of courage, but I have to give a lot of credit to the Slovaks who were both very solid especially in the important moments.”           
– Sylvain Bruneau, Captain of the Canadian Fed Cup team

“It was a tough match as I had expected. My game plan at the start was to attack her forehand, but I had to adjust after the first set and start to play more to her backhand.  I am happy to get the first point for my country. It was a difficult day since it was my first match on clay in almost two years, so I am happy the match went over two hours.”
– Dominika Cibulkova

“She has a lot of potential. If she works hard, she can achieve some remarkable success. If she can play like this every match, I am sure that she will rise up the rankings very quickly.”
– Dominika Cibulkova, on Françoise Abanda
 
“Both matches today were stressful, difficult, and long. Abanda and Wozniak played very well and made our players’ lives very difficult. I am happy with a 2-0 lead, it gives us three chances to to win the tie tomorrow.”
-Matej Liptak, Captain of the Slovak Fed Cup team

DAY TWO AT A GLANCE
 
Play will resume on Sunday at 7 a.m. ET with the third singles match scheduled to pit Abanda against Schmiedlova. The fourth singles rubber will see Wozniak take on Cibulkova followed by the doubles featuring Sharon Fichman (Toronto) and Charlotte Robillard-Millette (Blainville, QC) versus Jana Cepelova and Cibulkova. The team captains have until one hour before the match to change their nominations. All matches will be best-of-three sets.

ABANDA VS. SCHMIEDLOVA – This will be their first meeting.

ABANDA SCHMIEDLOVA
19 years old 21 years old
World No. 260 World No. 34
Career-high of world No. 175 (October 2014) Career-high of world No. 26 (October 2015)
4th Fed Cup tie 6th Fed Cup tie
2-4 in Fed Cup play 6-3 in Fed Cup play

WOZNIAK VS. CIBULKOVA – This will be their 4th meeting. Cibulkova leads 3-0.

WOZNIAK CIBULKOVA
28 years old 26 years old
World No. 511 World No. 38
Career-high of world No. 21
(June 2009)
Career-high of world No. 10
(March 2014)
36th Fed Cup tie 21st Fed Cup tie
40-10 in Fed Cup play 19-19 in Fed Cup play

FICHMAN/ROBILLARD-MILLETTE VS. CEPELOVA/CIBULKOVA – This will be their first meeting. 

  FICHMAN ROBILLARD-MILLETTE CEPELOVA CIBULKOVA
Doubles Ranking No. 125 No. 646 No. 245 No. 143
Fed Cup doubles record 14-6 0-0 3-2 1-8

ORDER OF PLAY
 
Fed Cup World Group II – Playoff
Canada vs. Slovakia
April 16-17, 2016
Aegon Arena, Bratislava, Slovakia
Slovakia leads 2-0

Date Event Match/Result
Saturday April 16 First Singles Rubber Cibulkova d. Abanda 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
Saturday April 16 Second Singles Rubber Schmiedlova bat Wozniak 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
Sunday April 17 Third Singles Rubber Abanda vs. Schmiedlova
Sunday April 17 Fourth Singles Rubber Wozniak vs. Cibulkova
Sunday April 17 Doubles Rubber Fichman/Robillard-Millette vs. Cepelova/Cibulkova

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