Canada will be without Leylah Fernandez after the US Open finalist made a surprise pullout from the Billie Jean King Cup event.

Fernandez, who lost to Britain’s Emma Raducanu in last month’s all-teenaged final in New York, gave no reason for her withdrawal, saying only:
“After consideration, I have made the decision to not play the BJK Cup Finals.

I wish my team all the best this November.”

The former Fed Cup will be staged in Prague from November 1-6, with Canada grouped with Russia and top seed France.

Canadian officials quickly bought into their headliner’s absence.

“We know that representing her country means the world to Leylah,” captain Sylvain Bruneau said, adding that 326th-ranked Carol Zhao will now join the side.

“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.”

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