The official draw for the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II play-off tie between Canada and Kazakhstan took place Friday at Montreal City Hall. The tie will be played indoors at Uniprix Stadium from April 22-23, 2017.
The Canadian Fed Cup team featuring Francoise Abanda (Montreal, QC), Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga, ON), Gabriela Dabrowski (Ottawa, ON), and Katherine Sebov (Toronto, ON) will take on Kazakhstan in two singles matches on Saturday, and two singles and one doubles match on Sunday. Canadian Fed Cup captain Sylvain Bruneau will helm the squad as they compete for a spot in the World Group II for 2018.
Françoise Abanda and Bianca Andreescu were selected by Bruneau to play singles, while the Kazakh team captain Dias Doskarayev nominated Yulia Putintseva and Yaroslava Shvedova. Although Andreescu is currently the youngest player on the team, at 16 years of age, she is already ranked in the Top 200 and currently holds a perfect Fed Cup record. Abanda has been a member of the Fed Cup team since 2015 and has posted notable wins over players ranked in the Top 100. For their part, the two singles players from Kazakhstan, Putintseva and Shvedova, are already among the world elite, with both hovering around the Top 50.
The doubles teams will be Gabriela Dabrowski and Katherine Sebov for Canada and Yaroslava Shvedova and Galina Voskoboeva for Kazakhstan.
Today’s draw produced the following weekend match-ups:
|Event||Representing Canada||Representing Kazakhstan|
|1st Singles Rubber – Saturday April 22, 1 p.m. ET||Bianca Andreescu||Yulia Putintseva|
|2nd Singles Rubber – Saturday April 22||Françoise Abanda||Yaroslava Shvedova|
|3rd Singles Rubber – Sunday, April 23, 12 p.m. ET||Françoise Abanda||Yulia Putintseva|
|4th Singles Rubber – Sunday, April 23||Bianca Andreescu||Yaroslava Shvedova|
|Doubles Rubber – Sunday, April 23||Gabriela Dabrowski / Katherine Sebov||Yaroslava Shvedova / Galina Voskoboeva|
“Although our girls are coming in to this weekend with less experience, they are up to the challenge. The team performed well in Mexico earlier this year and showed their desire to get back in to the World Group II next year,” stated Canadian captain Sylvain Bruneau. “Our players want to win. They have the drive and the desire to not only compete, but to win.”
2015 and 2016 proved very challenging for the Canadian squad in World Group play. The draw was not kind to Canada when it pitted the team against the Czech Republic, a five-time champion in the past six years. After a string of losses against Romania, Belarus and Slovakia, it was back to square one. Canada was banished to the qualifying round of Americas Zone Group I.
This year’s young team fought their way out of the Americas zone and hope to reclaim Canada’s place among the world elite. But first, it must get past Kazakhstan. With two players hovering around the WTA Top 50—Yulia Putintseva (31) and Yaroslava Shvedova (51), who is also Top 10 in doubles—the team is poised to shine brighter than ever. Until this season, Kazakhstan’s best performance was a World Group II playoff in 2013 that ended in a 4-1 loss to France.