By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin | @earthstroke
(February 7, 2014) MONTREAL – The match-ups of the Canada-Serbia World Group II Fed Cup tie were announced earlier today in Montreal, as the local hopefuls will be aiming at getting one step closer to reaching the World Group for the first time since 1994.
Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak, a former top 25 player who is working her way up after a serious shoulder injury, will start things off on Saturday against Serbian number one Vesna Dolonc, ranked 117th. The two have only faced off once, when the Canadian won in two tight sets in the first round of the 2013 US Open a few months ago. Wozniak, the Canadian player with the most ever Fed Cup wins (37), was chosen to play singles over Sharon Fichman, the actual second best Canadian in the WTA rankings. By doing so, Canadian team captain Sylvain Bruneau will surely be hoping to earn the first point of the tie thanks to Wozniak’s experience, as she has been nominated for 15 Fed Cup ties since 2004.
The second singles match will see Canada’s Eugenie ‘Genie’ Bouchard, now ranked at a career high 19th spot, face off against first-time Fed Cup player Jovana Jaksic, also at her best ever ranking (149th). Bouchard, who was named the WTA Newcomer of the Year award in 2013, is expected to draw big crowds in Montreal, as she aims to keep up the form that led her to the semi-finals of the Australian Open in January.
“It’ll be my first home tie so I’m excited to see what it’s going to be like, said Bouchard earlier today. This is the city I grew up in and it’s fun to play back here. I haven’t played here since Rogers Cup 2012, so I’m really excited.”
On Sunday, reverse singles should see Bouchard face Dolonc and Wozniak face Jaksic, though changes in the match-ups are possible. Sharon Fichman and Gabriela Dabrowski, Canada’s highest ranked doubles players, would be scheduled to face the unlikely pair of Alexandra Krunic and Nina Stojanovic in the deciding doubles match.
Saturday February 8th, 2014 – 3pm ET
R1: Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) v Vesna Dolonc (SRB)
R2: Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) v Jovana Jaksic (SRB)
Sunday February 9th, 2014 – 1pm ET
R3: Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) v Jovana Jaksic (SRB)
R4: Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) v Vesna Dolonc (SRB)
R5: Gabriela Dabrowski/Sharon Fichman (CAN) v Aleksandra Krunic/Nina Stojanovic (SRB)