Leylah Fernandez won’t play for Canada at Billie Jean King Cup Finals

Reigning U.S. Open finalist Leylah Fernandez will not play for Canada at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals, Nov. 1-6 in Prague, Czech Republic.

“It has always been an honour to represent my country,” Fernandez said Wednesday. “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.”

The decision leaves Canada without its top two singles players as Bianca Andreescu also is skipping the event.

Carol Zhao of Richmond Hill, Ont., will replace Fernandez.

“We know that representing her country means the world to Leylah,” said Sylvain Bruneau, interim Team Canada captain for the Finals. “But it has been a long season and we understand her decision. 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.”

Other team members are Vancouver’s Rebecca Marino, Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski and Montreal’s Francoise Abanda.

Canada opens the competition with ties against France and Russia.

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