Fernandez, Marino, Dabrowski and Abanda named to Canada's Billie Jean King Cup team

Leylah Annie Fernandez delivered a stunning upset of fifth-ranked Belinda Bencic at a Billie Jean King Cup qualifier over the weekend, a result that gave her a big boost of confidence ahead of her first full season as a pro. Fernandez is shown in this August 5, 2019 file photo (Mark Blinch/CP).

MONTREAL -- U.S. Open finalist Leylah Fernandez will lead Canada's team into the finals of the Billie Jean King Cup women's international tennis tournament.

Fernandez, ranked 29th in the world, reached her first Grand Slam final last month in New York before losing to Britain's Emma Raducanu in a battle of up-and-coming teenagers.

The 19-year-old from Laval, Que., also won her first WTA title this year at the Monterrey Open in March.

Fernandez will be joined by Ottawa's Gabriela Dabrowski, Vancouver's Rebecca Marino and Montreal's Francoise Abanda.

Top-ranked Canadian Bianca Andreescu (No. 20) will not play in the tournament.

``I will attempt to finish these last few tournaments of the year in strong fashion, and then will focus on having a very good off-season training block in order to be fully prepared for the 2022 season,'' Andreescu said in a statement. ``I will be playing the Billie Jean King Cup event next year and wish Team Canada all the best for this year's edition.''

Sylvain Bruneau will serve as Canada's interim captain in place of Heidi El Tabakh, who Tennis Canada says can not attend the event due to personal reasons.

The Billie Jean King Cup finals will be held Nov. 1-6 on the hard courts of the O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic.

Canada is in a group with Russia and France.

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