May 23, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

Video: Fernandez ready to step up for Canadian BJK Cup quest

MIAMI, Fla. – It was less than 24 hours after Bianca Andreescu’s ankle injury in Miami, which not only put an end to her vintage effort at that tournament but also appeared certain to keep the top-ranked Canadian from leading the Canadian Billie Jean King Cup team a few weeks later.

So we posed the question to Leylah Fernandez, who has done it before: are you ready to lead the team again?

Here’s what she said.

(Note: This was right after Fernandez’s tough loss at the hands of Belinda Bencic in Miami. And we didn’t know at the time how serious Andreescu’s injury was. So she answered in that context).

A couple of weeks later, here we are.

Fernandez will lead off the Canadian team’s tie against Belgium against No. 2 Yanina Wickmayer.

The action begins at 4 p.m. PDT (7 p.m. EDT), and they’ll be followed by Canadian No. 2 Rebecca Marino vs. Belgian No. 1 Ysaline Bonaventure.

(Shameless plug: Follow us on TVA Sports, where Sébastian Goulet and I will bring you all the action this weekend).

Wickmayer, 33, has recently gotten herself back into the top 200 in singles, and top 100 in doubles (she’s 16-0 this year). Mostly, she has been playing the ITF circuit.

She had her first child in April, 2021 and has had to build back up from the bottom.

Fernandez was … four years old when Wickmayer made her Fed Cup debut in 2007, against none other than Venus Williams.

But she has five career singles titles. And back in 2010, she reached a career-high No. 12.

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