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Leylah Fernandez to skip Billie Jean King Cup Finals

U.S. Open finalist Leylah Fernandez has determined not to signify Canada at subsequent month’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Prague, Tennis Canada mentioned on Thursday.

The 19-year-old Fernandez, who went out within the final 16 at Indian Wells this week in her first event since shedding to fellow teenager Emma Raducanu of Britain within the U.S. Open last, can be changed by Carol Zhao.

“It has always been an honor to represent my country,” world quantity 28 Fernandez mentioned in a information launch. “Canada has given me and my household a lot alternative and in the previous few weeks, the Canadian assist has meant the world to me.

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“After consideration, I have made the decision to not play the BJK Cup Finals. I wish my team all the best this November!”

Fernandez has loved a breakout season throughout which she received the Monterrey Open in March for her first WTA title.

She upped her recreation significantly on the 12 months’s last Grand Slam in New York the place her run to the ultimate included wins over defending champion Naomi Osaka, three-times Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber and world quantity two Aryna Sabalenka.

Following her loss at Indian Wells, Fernandez mentioned it had been a protracted season and that she was uncertain of her enjoying plans for the remainder of the 12 months and wanted to meet along with her workforce and see the place she was mentally and bodily.

“It has been a long season and we understand her decision,” mentioned interim Team Canada captain Sylvain Bruneau.

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“That said, we are delighted to be able to welcome Carol onto the team for the Finals. Carol has shown from her past experiences that she is a great team player. She will be a very valuable addition to the team.”

Zhao, 26, has performed in three Billie Jean King Cup ties to date in her profession, the newest coming in April when she and Rebecca Marino beat Ivana Jorovic and Aleksandra Krunic in a dead-rubber doubles match as Canada swept Serbia 4-0.

In addition to Zhao, Canada’s lineup for the Billie Jean King Cup Finals may also embody Marino, Gabriela Dabrowski and Francoise Abanda.

Canada will begin the November 1-6 hardcourt competitors by going through France and the Russian Tennis Federation in Group A.

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