November 13, 2023
Leylah Fernandez sent the Canadian team into raptures as she put the Billie Jean Cup’s destination beyond doubt.
But her young teammate Marina Stakusic did at least as much to secure this maiden title, with superb work all week.
Canada’s previous best was a semi-final place thirty-five years ago. After beating Poland, Spain and Czech Republic this week, they needed success against Italy to make history.
Fernandez is perhaps best known in world tennis as the US Open finalist who lost to Canadian-born Emma Raducanu in a pulsating final at Flushing Meadows in 2021.
But she has a winning mentality – and it showed in Seville.
Leylah beat Italy’s Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-3 to secure the title Canada so deserved.
She said: ‘It feels amazing and I’m extremely proud that I was able to represent Canada on the biggest stage.
‘To do it in front of Billie Jean means the world to me and to us. Hopefully we can keep going, celebrate tonight and have fun.’
With $2.4 million worth of prize money in the kitty, the good times can now roll for Canadian tennis!
Leylah Fernandez and the rest of the Canadian tennis talent will be on show at Wimbledon 2024 too!
And one to watch is Stakusic, who was 3-1 for the week when she beat Martina Trevisan 7-5, 6-3 earlier on this dramatic final day.
The 18-year-old is ranked just 258 in the world. Trevisan is a top-fifty star. Looks like Stakusic is ready to climb big-time from here.
Canada’s captain Heidi El Tabakh said: ‘I’m so proud of this team. These girls are incredible.’
Joining Fernandez and Stakusic were their teammates Rebecca Marino, Eugenie Bouchard and Gabriela Dabrowski as the trophy was presented.
Leylah Fernandez and the gang have shown why it’s a great time for Canadian tennis. And that makes it a great moment for Canadian fans to book their seats for Wimbledon 2024!
Come and join us. You might just get to see Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Sir Andy Murray perform for the last time at Wimbledon too.