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The Globe and Mail

Canada to face Slovakia with spot in Fed Cup World Group on the line

Eugenie Bouchard, of Canada, returns the ball to Jovana Jaksic, of Serbia,during round one Federation Cup tennis action in Montreal, Saturday, February 8, 2014.


Slovakia will be Canada's next opponent in its bid to reach the World Group in Federation Cup tennis.

The International Tennis Federation announced Tuesday that Canada will play host to Slovakia in a World Group playoff series April 19-20.

Canada will get to choose the venue and playing surface, which will be announced later.

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"We are excited to have reached this stage in the competition and are already looking forward to playing another home tie, this time against Slovakia, " Canadian Fed Cup captain Sylvain Bruneau said in a statement.

Canada put itself one win away from a first berth in the World Group when Eugenie Bouchard, Aleksandra Wozniak, Sharon Fichman and Gabriela Dabrowski posted a 3-1 win over Serbia on Sunday at the Claude Robillard Centre. The World Group includes the top eight on the planet.

Slovakia, led by world No. 13 Dominika Cibulkova and No. 30 Daniela Hantuchova, reached the World Group semifinals in 2013.

In their only previous meeting, Canada lost 5-0 to Slovakia in 1997

Canada is 11th in Fed Cup rankings and Slovakia is fifth.

Other playoff ties have Argentina at Russia, France at the United States and Poland at Spain. The four playoff winners advance to the World Group in 2015, while the losers play in World Group II.

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