‘I wish my team all the best’ – Leylah Fernandez withdraws from Billie Jean King Cup
US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez has decided not to represent Canada at the upcoming Billie Jean King Finals in Prague, it was announced on Thursday.
The 19-year-old, who exited Indian Wells at the last 16 stage in her first tournament since losing to British star Emma Raducanu in the Open final, will be replaced by Carol Zhao.
In her statement, the Canadian star did not reveal the reason behind her withdrawal, though fellow fellow finalist at Flushing Meadows Raducanu is also managing her workload having pulled out of the Kremlin Cup.
“It has always been an honour to represent my country,” said the world number 28.
“Canada has given me and my family so much opportunity and in the last few weeks, the Canadian support has meant the world to me.
“After consideration, I have made the decision to not play the BJK Cup Finals. I wish my team all the best this November!”
Following her loss at Indian Wells, Fernandez admitted it had been a long season and that she was unsure of her plans for the rest of the year.
“It has been a long season and we understand her decision,” said interim Team Canada captain Sylvain Bruneau.
“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.”
Canada will start the hardcourt competition by facing France and the Russian Tennis Federation in Group A.
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