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Andreescu, Fernandez and Bouchard get set to play invitational tournament in June
MONTREAL -- Canada's Bianca Andreescu, Leylah Annie Fernandez and Eugenie Bouchard are expected to be part of a group of 16 players who will take part in the first edition of the Credit One Bank Invitational tournament next month.
The Tennis Channel TV Network announced that the tournament is scheduled to begin June 23 in Charleston, South Carolina. The event is not part of the WTA's regular calendar and will be played without spectators.
The world's number-six ranked player and defending US Open champion Andreescu has not played a single game since a left knee injury in late October during the WTA Finals in China.
The 19-year-old Ontarian hoped to be able to defend her title at the Indian Wells tournament in March, but had to withdraw because she was not fully recovered.
In the end, the tournament was cancelled March 8, a few days before the first games, due to the coronavirus. The World Health Organization announced on March 11 that the coronavirus was a pandemic.
While Andreescu was recovering from her injury, Laval native Leylah Annie Fernandez kept Canadian women's tennis at the forefront with performances that caused her to make giant leaps in the standings.
The 17-year-old first attracted attention by defeating Swiss Belinda Bencic, then ranked fifth in the world, at the Fed Cup in Switzerland in early February.
Less than a month later, she reached the final of the Acapulco tournament - a first for her on the WTA circuit - without losing a single run in six games. However, she lost the ultimate duel to Briton Heather Watson in three sets in the final.
The following week, she made it to the quarterfinals at the Monterrey tournament, where she lost to the acclaimed Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, who went on to win the tournament.
This meant that Fernandez climbed from 209th on January 5 to 118th when the world of tennis found itself on forced break.
For Bouchard, the situation is much more difficult. Ranked fifth in the world on October 19, 2014 after a 10-month span highlighted by a Wimbledon final and the semi-finals in Australia and Roland-Garros in France, the 26-year-old Montrealer started 2020 at 262nd and slid 60 places since.
Excluding the qualifying round for the 2020 Australian Open - where she was unable to earn a spot on the main draw - Bouchard has only played four games this year and is 2- 2.
Her last outing on the courts dates back to the end of January, at a lower level tournament in Newport Beach, California. She was then resoundly eliminated, 1-6, 2-6, by American Alexa Glatch, then 283rd in the world.
Bouchard was scheduled to compete in the Fed Cup duel against Switzerland but withdrew due to a wrist injury.
The Invitational Credit One Bank tournament will consist of 16 singles and eight doubles games, and participants will be split into two teams.
In addition to the three Canadians, the list of players includes the 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, Belarusian Victoria Azarenka and American Sloane Stephens.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 23, 2020.