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Tennis Canada – Abanda falls to Sasnovich in opening match of World Group II first-round tie; Tickets still available for Sunday for just $15



Quebec City, February 6, 2016 – The Canadian Fed Cup team is tied 1-1 with Belarus following the first day of play in their Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II first-round tie at PEPS on the campus of Laval University in Quebec City on Saturday. Fed Cup veteran Aleksandra Wozniak (Blainville, Que.) evened up the tie at one match apiece with a 6-2, 6-2 upset victory over Belarusian No. 1 player, world No. 74 Olga Govortsova. This came after Francoise Abanda (Montreal) lost 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 to Aliaksandra Sasnovich in a closely-played opening rubber.



In the first match of the day, both players displayed nerves, especially on their own service games with 11 breaks between them. Following a shaky first set, Abanda climbed back with a strong second set, breaking in the second game and again in the final game to force a deciding third set. And though both players had their chances in the third set, it was Sasnovich who stepped up to come out on top. The overall total points won was 85-84 in favour of world No. 99 Sasnovich.



Wozniak then exhibited her immense Fed Cup experience against Govortsova, in a duel between two former Top 50 players. Playing in her 35th Fed Cup tie, Wozniak rose to the occasion and took control early, winning the opening set in just 35 minutes. She then cruised to a 4-0 lead in the second set before Govortsova seemed to find her footing and took the next two games. At the 4-2 mark, Wozniak saved three break points in a game lasting over 10 minutes to put an end to Govortsova’s run. After missing last year’s Fed Cup schedule due to shoulder surgery in the fall of 2014, Wozniak ended her return in triumph – the winningest player in Canadian Fed Cup history, Wozniak secured her 40th Fed Cup victory on Saturday.



Canada and Belarus now both enter Sunday needing two victories to win this best-of-five matches tie. The winner will advance into a World Group play-off in April, while the loser will need to compete in a World Group II play-off tie to avoid relegation into the zonal groups. Canada is attempting to make it back to the upper echelon of Fed Cup after playing in World Group for the first time last year since the current format was introduced in 2005. Belarus has never made World Group and is currently a member of World Group II for the second time and first since 2012.

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QUOTES

  

“I was trying to go for my shots and have an aggressive match so for me, I still see this as a positive match. There wasn’t a big difference between us, we were both tight in the match. I think in the third set she played better a little bit, but she was playing good throughout the match, she was pretty solid.”
– Francoise Abanda on her match against Sasnovich
 
“My focus was to play one point at a time and compete on each one and I think I did that well. I haven’t played a lot of matches in my comeback so I am very pleased that I was able to play at that level.”
– Aleksandra Wozniak on her victory
 
“It’s exciting and very special for me and my country especially.”
– Aleksandra Wozniak on winning her 40th Fed Cup match
 
“I’ve seen [Wozniak] play matches before this one since coming back and today was a big step up for her. I’m not surprised because she always plays so well in Fed Cup. It seems to be an event that brings out the best in her.”
– Canadian team captain Sylvain Bruneau on the play of Wozniak
 
“I think [Wozniak] played really well today. It was a little bit tough for me because I’ve only had a few matches in the last four months. But she started really well and in the second set I kind of found my game. It was 4-0 but we had a really long game at 4-2, but she won it and so it was really tough after that.”
– Olga Govortsova on her match against Wozniak  
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DAY TWO AT A GLANCE

 

Play will resume on Sunday at 12 p.m. ET with the third singles match scheduled to pit Abanda against Govortsova. The fourth singles rubber will see Wozniak take on Sasnovich followed by the doubles featuring Gabriela Dabrowski (Ottawa) and Carol Zhao (Richmond Hill, Ont.) versus Govortsova and Vera Lapko. The team captains have until one hour before the match to change their nominations. All matches will be best-of-three sets.



ABANDA VS. GOVORTSOVA – This will be their first meeting.

  

ABANDA GOVORTSOVA
19 years old 27 years old
World No. 343 World No. 74
Career-high of world No. 175 (October 2014) Career-high of world No. 35 (June 2008)
Third Fed Cup tie 28th Fed Cup tie
1-4 in Fed Cup play 24-10 in Fed Cup play



WOZNIAK VS. SASNOVICH – This will be their first meeting. This will be Wozniak’s 50th career Fed Cup match.

  

WOZNIAK SASNOVICH
28 years old 21 years old
World No. 803 World No. 99
Career-high of world No. 21
(June 2009)
Career-high of world No. 92
(October 2014)
35th Fed Cup tie 13th Fed Cup tie
40-9 in Fed Cup play 11-8 in Fed Cup play



DABROWSKI/ZHAO VS. GOVORTSOVA/LAPKO – This will be their first meeting. Zhao will be making her Fed Cup debut. Dabrowski and Zhao won gold at the TO2015 Pan Am Games together last summer.

  

  DABROWSKI ZHAO GOVORTSOVA LAPKO
Doubles Ranking No. 49 No. 179 No. 366 No. 605
Fed Cup doubles record 4-3 0-0 4-1 3-0



Fans can still purchase tickets for Sunday starting at just $15. There is also a special rate of $9 available for students and children. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-866-653-6203, online at www.reservatech.net or in person at PEPS. 

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ORDER OF PLAY

 

Fed Cup World Group II – First Round
Canada vs. Belarus
February 6-7, 2016
PEPS, Laval University, Quebec City
Tied 1-1 


  

Date Event Match/Result
Saturday February 6 First Singles Rubber Sasnovich d. Abanda 6-4, 2-6, 6-3
Saturday February 6 Second Singles Rubber Wozniak d. Govortsova 6-2, 6-2
Sunday February 7 Third Singles Rubber Abanda vs. Govortsova
Sunday February 7 Fourth Singles Rubber Wozniak vs. Sasnovich
Sunday February 7 Doubles Rubber Dabrowski/Zhao vs. Govortsova/Lapko

 

***ALL MATCHES BROADCAST LIVE ON TVA SPORTS AND SPORTSNET.CA***

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About Fed Cup by BNP Paribas

Fed Cup by BNP Paribas is the World Cup of Tennis. It is the largest annual international team competition in women’s sport, with 101 nations entered in 2016. The competition is 53 years old having been founded in 1963. The title sponsor is BNP Paribas, the Official Bank of Fed Cup. International sponsors are Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Adecco (Official HR Sponsor) and Betway (Official Betting Sponsor). beIN SPORTS is the Official Global Media Rights Partner. Follow all the action on www.fedcup.com, www.fedcup.com/es,www.twitter.com/fedcup,www.facebook.com/FedCupwww.Weibo.com/fedcupofficial and www.fedcup.tv.

 

About Tennis Canada

Founded in 1890, Tennis Canada is a non-profit, national sport association with a mission to lead the growth of tennis in Canada and a vision to become a world-leading tennis nation. We value teamwork, passion, integrity, innovation and excellence. Tennis Canada owns and operates the premier Rogers Cup presented by National Bank WTA and ATP World Tour events, 10 professional ITF sanctioned events and financially supports 12 other professional tournaments in Canada. Tennis Canada operates junior national training centres/programs in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Tennis Canada is a proud member of the International Tennis Federation, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and the International Wheelchair Tennis Association, and serves to administer, sponsor and select the teams for Davis Cup, Fed Cup, the Olympic and Paralympic Games and all wheelchair, junior and senior national teams. Tennis Canada invests its surplus into tennis development. For more information on Tennis Canada please visit our Web site at: www.tenniscanada.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

  

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Media Contacts (Montreal):

Valerie Tetreault, Regional Manager, Communications and Media Relations

         514-519-1606, vtetreault@tenniscanada.com             

           

Media Contacts (Toronto):

Sarah Grossman, National Manager, Communications and Media Relations, Professional Tennis

       416-650-7922, or sgrossman@tenniscanada.com

Nicole Watts, Manager, Communications

       647-401-9112, or nwatts@tenniscanada.com