Home > Sports News > Leylah Annie Fernandez wraps up Billie Jean King Cup win for Canada against Serbia

Leylah Annie Fernandez wraps up Billie Jean King Cup win for Canada against Serbia


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Leylah Annie Fernandez clinched a Billie Jean King Cup playoff tie victory for Canada with a dramatic win today in Kraljevo, Serbia.

The 18-year-old Fernandez, from Laval, Que., beat Serbia’s Nina Stojanovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to give Canada an insurmountable 3-0 lead in the best-of-five tie.

Fernandez, ranked 72nd in the world, was about to have her fifth match-point opportunity against the 87th-ranked Stojanovic when some of the lights went out at the indoor hard-court facility.

Stojanovic, with serve and trailing 5-4 in the third set, came back from the 13-minute delay to win a long point. But Fernandez won the next two points to finally put an end to a match that lasted two hours 46 minutes.

“I think it was just trying to trick myself that it wasn’t match point for me, that I wasn’t up in the third set,” Fernandez said of her attitude after the lights went off. “It was more, let’s earn this point, thinking it’s 0-0 or that I’m down in a set trying to get back into it. Just fight for every point.”

Canada won the tie 4-0 after Toronto’s Carol Zhao and Vancouver’s Rebecca Marino beat Ivana Jorovic and Aleksandra Krunic 4-6, 6-3, 10-0 in a dead-rubber doubles match.

WATCH | Canada sweeps without Andreescu, Dabrowski:

Leylah Annie Fernandez of Laval, Que., defeated Serbia’s Olga Danilovic 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 in the opener rubber of their Billie Jean King Cup playoff tie. 4:27

Canada was without its top singles player, Bianca Andreescu, who has a foot injury. Gabriela Dabrowski, Canada’s top doubles player, also didn’t play.

“Honestly very proud of myself that I was able to push through the nerves of this match,” Fernandez said. “I knew it was not going to be easy.”

230th-ranked Marino shocks Stojanovic

It was the second long match in a row for Fernandez, who needed two hours 34 minutes to beat Olga Danilovic 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 in the opener yesterday.

WATCH | Leylah Annie Fernandez clinches Billie Jean King Cup opener:

230th-ranked Rebecca Marino of Vancouver upset 87th-ranked Nina Stojanovic of Serbia 6-4, 7-6 (6) to give Canada a 2-0 lead in their Billie Jean King Cup playoff tie. 1:31

The 230th-ranked Marino then gave Canada a commanding 2-0 lead with a 6-4, 7-6 (6) upset against Stojanovic.

WATCH | Marino upsets Stojanovic: 

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The top-ranked Serbian, Stojanovic made 63 unforced errors against Fernandez. The Canadian had 45 unforced errors.

Fernandez is in the midst of a promising year, having won her first career WTA Tour title last month in Mexico.

“It’s definitely a big confidence boost. It helps a lot,” she said. “It wasn’t an easy start of the year for me but I kept training, kept improving and I was happy to get my first title a few weeks ago in Mexico. And here to be playing for my country, getting those emotions, the support from my teammates … from our country was tremendously helpful. Just to win this weekend was great for my upcoming season.”

Canada advances to next year’s qualifiers, where a win would secure a berth in the 2022 Billie Jean King Cup Finals.

The Billie Jean King Cup is the new name for the Fed Cup — the top international team tournament in women’s tennis.

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