Team Canada set to face Belarus at Fed Cup

Team Canada's Francoise Abanda. (Graham Hughes/CP)

The Fed Cup bills itself as “the world’s largest annual international team competition in women’s sport.” It’s structured around the eight-country, top-tier World Group and the eight-country World Group II, along with three geographical Zone Groups. The promotion/relegation system is complex, but in the World Group levels, “ties” are run in a best-of-five rubbers-format composed of four singles matches and a doubles match hosted over a weekend by one of the competing nations (the terminology can be confusing, but in this case, ties are composite matches). It all adds up to a sprawling international competition of the best female tennis players in the world.

In the first round of World Group II this year, Canada faces Belarus in Quebec City on Feb. 6 and 7. Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard opted out of the Fed Cup to work on her game after a rough 2015 season and a concussion that shortened her off-season. In her absence, Team Canada members are Carol Zhao, Gabriela Dabrowski, Francoise Abanda and Alexsandra Wozniak.

Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the competition:

1963: Year the Federation Cup—later renamed Fed Cup—was launched
100: Percent of world No. 1s who have played in the tournament since its inception
102: Nations competing in 2016
26: Host nations/competition venues in 2016
146: Ties contested in 2015
451: Rubbers contested in 2015
70: Tiebreaks contested in 2015
8,118: Estimated number of balls used in 2015 tournament
357: Players in 2015 tournament
145,000: Spectators at 2015 tournament
12: Canada’s ranking among Fed Cup nations
0: Number of times Canada has previously played its first-round matchup, Belarus
339: Rank of top Canadian player, Carol Zhao
14: Rank of top Belarussian player, Victoria Azarenka
1,825: Sum of the singles’ ranking of Team Canada members
725: Sum of the singles’ ranking of Team Belarus members
22.25: Average age in years of Team Canada
22.75: Average age in years of Team Belarus
72: Balls per day Team Canada uses during training week leading up to competition
1: Boxes of clementines Team Canada eats each day
24: Bottles of water Team Canada drinks daily
200: Energy bars Team Canada brought to Quebec City
45: Minutes of massage each Team Canada player gets at the end of the day