Wim Fissette sees Canada as a favorite for his debut as a Belgian national coach, but: “Confidence is very important in women’s tennis”

Wim Fissette. — © BELGIUM

No gifts for Wim Fissette (43), debuting coach of the Billie Jean King Cup team. Out in Canada, a solid opponent. And he himself is on the road without the three best Belgians of recent years. The goal – a place in the Finals with twelve countries – will therefore be a difficult job.

Mark Vermeiren

Elise Mertens (WTA 29) is prioritizing her clay-court campaign and recovering from a shoulder injury. Maryna Zanevska (WTA 76) and Alison Van Uytvanck (WTA 97) also fit for the long trip to Vancouver. Van Uytvanck has been struggling for quite some time with an unruly back. With Ysaline Bonaventure (WTA 86), Fissette has only one player from the top hundred. In addition, the Belgian team also consists of Greet Minnen (WTA 171) and the routine duo Yanina Wickmayer (WTA 190)-Kirsten Flipkens (WTA 43 doubles).

On the Canadian side, former US Open winner Bianca Andreescu (WTA 27) had to cancel with a painful ankle, but with Leylah Fernandez (WTA 50) and Rebecca Marino (WTA 80), the country still has two players with a higher ranking than the best Belgian. Fissette, who won six grand slams alongside Kim Clijsters, Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka, among others, acknowledges that Canada is a favourite. “On paper, at least. But many of our girls have started the season strong and confidence is very important in women’s tennis.”

Wim Fissette met Naomi Osaka. — © Corbis via Getty Images

In 2009, both countries already dueled in the context of this cup. Belgium won 3-2 in the Hasselt Grenslandhallen. Flipkens was then part of the Belgian team and, together with Wickmayer, scored the decisive point. “I really don’t know anything about that anymore. Did we win then? Good. Hopefully the same result will follow this weekend.”


Saturday 1 pm (Belgian time): 2 singles matches

Saturday 11 pm (Belgian time): 2 singles matches followed by 1 doubles match

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