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Leylah Fernandez steers Canada to Billie Jean King Cup victory

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Billie Jean King Cup
Leylah Fernandez of Canada celebrates victory. Photo/Mid-Day
  • Leylah Fernandez helped Canada secure its first-ever Billie Jean King Cup victory
  • Fernandez, Canada’s top player, clinched victory over Italy’s Jasmine Paolini
  • This achievement mirrors the success of Canada’s Davis Cup team

Leylah Fernandez helped Canada secure its first-ever Billie Jean King Cup victory marking a significant milestone in history.

Fernandez, Canada’s top player, clinched victory over Italy’s Jasmine Paolini. This momentous win followed an earlier stellar performance by Marina Stakusic, who exhibited unflinching composure to overcome Martina Trevisan 7-5, 6-3 in the opening singles match.

The triumphant Canadian team, comprised of Fernandez, Stakusic, Rebecca Marino, Eugenie Bouchard, and Gabriela Dabrowski, now holds the esteemed title of Billie Jean King Cup world champion.

This achievement mirrors the success of Canada’s Davis Cup team, which secured the men’s team title in the ‘World Cup of Tennis’ the previous year.

The accolades for Canada’s historic win extend beyond the prestigious trophy. The team was honoured with Billie Blue jackets crafted by Tory Burch, the official clothing partner of the competition.

billie jean king cup

Leylah Fernandez celebrates with team Canada after winning the Billie Jean King Cup. Photo/San Diego Union-Tribune

Additionally, Canada is set to receive a record-breaking prize money of $2.4 million, aligning with the rewards offered in the Davis Cup.

LEYLAH FERNANDEZ VICTORY AT BILLIE JEAN KING CUP

Fernandez, who maintained a flawless 5-0 record throughout the event, expressed the profound significance of the moment, particularly with trailblazer Billie Jean King in attendance.

In an on-court interview, Fernandez conveyed her pride in representing Canada on the grandest stage and the immense meaning the victory held, especially in front of the iconic Billie Jean King.

“It feels amazing and I’m extremely proud that I was able to get to represent Canada on the biggest stage. To do it in front of Billie Jean, it means the world to me, to us and hopefully we can keep going, celebrate tonight and just have fun,” she said.

The path to Canada’s historic triumph involved a stellar performance earlier in the week, where they secured the top spot in Group C by defeating host Spain and Poland.

In the semifinal, a formidable 2-1 victory against Czechia, with Fernandez and Gabriela Dabrowski securing a 7-5, 7-6 (3) win in the doubles match, paved the way for the final showdown.

Fernandez hailed as the cornerstone of Canada’s success with an impeccable record, was complemented by the emergence of Stakusic, a relative newcomer who showcased outstanding skills. Dabrowski, a stalwart in doubles, served as a reliable anchor for the team. Notably, the Canadian team faced the challenge without their sole eligible Grand Slam winner, Bianca Andreescu, the 2019 US Open champion, who was sidelined due to a back injury.

billie jean king cup

Canadian tennis player Leylah Fernandez Photo/Tennis Canada

Canada, under the captaincy of Heidi El Tabakh, etched its name in history as the 13th nation to claim the Billie Jean King Cup.

This victory adds to the global diversity of winners and marks Canada’s ascent to the pinnacle of women’s team tennis.

Reflecting on the incredible journey, El Tabakh expressed the team’s elation, describing the win as a “dream come true” to cap off an unforgettable week of competition.

Fernandez hit the headlines at Flushing Meadows at the 2021 US Open where she played the Grand Slam final against Emma Raducanu.

It was an epic battle of teens who were then 18 years old and Raducanu won her first Grand Slam title.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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