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Canada’s Fed Cup matchups set for first round tie in Romania this weekend

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Carol Zhao
Canada's Carol Zhao will play in a pair of singles matches at this weekend’s Fed Cup World Group II first round tie in Romania. (Kyle Clapham/Tennis Canada photo)

CLUJ-NAPOCA, Romania (from Tennis Canada) – The matchups for this weekend’s Fed Cup World Group II first round tie between Canada and Romania were determined Friday.

Canada and Romania will square off Saturday and Sunday on an indoor hard court at Sala Polivalenta Cluj-Napoca in Cluj-Napoca, with the winner advancing to the World Group I playoffs and the losing nation having to compete in a World Group II playoff tie to maintain its place in the World Group II for 2019.

“We know that the Romanian team presents a big challenge,” said Sylvain Bruneau, captain of the Canadian women’s tennis team since 2010. “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 Fed Cup team consisting of Carol Zhao (Richmond Hill, Ont.), Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga, Ont.), Gabriela Dabrowski (Ottawa) and Katherine Sebov (Toronto) will take on Romania in two singles matches on Saturday and two singles matches followed by a doubles match on the Sunday.

Zhao (ranked 138th in the world rankings) and Andreescu (ranked 153rd) 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  were selected for the doubles rubber for Romania.

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 quarterfinals on three occasions, in 1964, 1967 and 1987.

Fed Cup 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.

The tie will be broadcast live on Sportsnet Now.

Canada-Romania Fed Cup matchups

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

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