Zhao to open Fed Cup tie for Canada versus Romania

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Bianca Andreescu

The official draw for the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II first round tie between Canada and Romania was held on Friday to determine the match-ups for this weekend’s action. Canada and Romania will square off on an indoor hard court at Sala Polivalenta Cluj-Napoca in Cluj-Napoca on February 10 and 11, with the winner advancing to the World Group I play-offs and the losing nation having to compete in a World Group II play-off tie to maintain their place in the World Group II for 2019.

The Canadian Fed Cup team consisting of Carol Zhao (Richmond Hill), Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga), Gabriela Dabrowski (Ottawa) and Katherine Sebov (Toronto) as well as Sylvain Bruneau, captain of the Canadian team since 2010, will take on Romania in two singles matches on Saturday and two singles matches followed by a doubles match on the Sunday.

Zhao and Andreescu were selected by Bruneau to play in singles, while Romanian team captain Florin Segarceanu nominated Irina-Camelia Begu and Sorana Cirstea, respectively ranked no. 37 and 38 in the world. In doubles, Sebov and Dabrowski, who had a great start to her 2018 season by winning a WTA title in Sydney and the mixed doubles event at the Australian Open, will play for Canada. Raluca Olaru and Ana Bogdan, who was called on to replace Simona Halep earlier this week, were selected for the doubles rubber for Romania.

Today’s draw produced the following weekend match-ups:

Event Representing Canada Representing Romania
1st Singles Rubber – Saturday, February 10 – 6 a.m. ET Carol Zhao (world no. 138) Sorana Cirstea (world no. 38)
2nd Singles Rubber – Saturday, February 10 Bianca Andreescu (world no. 153) Irina-Camelia Begu (world no. 37)
3rd Singles Rubber – Sunday, February 11 – 5 a.m. ET Carol Zhao (world no. 138) Irina-Camelia Begu (world no. 37)
4th Singles Rubber – Sunday, February 11 Bianca Andreescu (world no. 153) Sorana Cirstea (world no. 38)
5th Rubber – Doubles – Sunday, February 11 Gabriela Dabrowski (world no. 11 in doubles) / Katherine Sebov (world no. 319) Ana Bogdan (world no. 86) /
Raluca Olaru (world no. 45 in doubles)

“We know that the Romanian team presents a big challenge,” stated Bruneau. “We are the underdogs in this tie, but we also held this role against Kazakhstan last year and we were able to cause the upset. The girls had a very good week of preparation and they are ready to leave it all out on the court this weekend.”

The Canadian team is competing in the World Group II for the first time since February 2016. The nation’s best results in Fed Cup have been reaching the semifinals in 1988 and the quarter-finals on three occasions, in 1964, 1967 and 1987.

Fed Cup by BNP Paribas is the largest annual team competition in women’s sport, with 98 countries participating in 2018. The competition is 55 years old, having been founded in 1963.

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