Friday, June 14, 2024

Canada qualifies for the Billie Jean King Cup

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Alan Binder
Alan Binder
"Alcohol scholar. Twitter lover. Zombieaholic. Hipster-friendly coffee fanatic."

Vancouver | Leila Annie Fernandez scored her second qualifying win over Latvia on Saturday at Pacific Stadium to push Canada into the Billie Jean Cup final in front of a crowd.

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Fernandez’s 6-2 6-1 victory over Daniela Vismane gave Canada a third point and confirmed victory regardless of the outcome of the doubles match. The second song of the day has been cancelled.

Canada thus qualified for the Billie Jean King Cup final in November (location to be determined) which will bring together the top 12 nations divided into four groups.

“I will remember this day for the rest of my life,” Fernandez told a news conference after the meeting. It means everything to me because I helped Canada qualify for the final. »

“Seeing the whole team smile when I confirmed our qualification is a moment I will always remember, and it is a continuation of the number 21 racket in the world who celebrated the Canadian flag and his teammates after winning. This is the atmosphere I love in the team competitions. I am just a small part of a great team winning.”

to the end

Fernandez believes Canada has the tools to win the final. “We are constantly getting ahead. We want to show the world that we are a tennis country and not just hockey. Canadians are nice, but you can be mean sometimes because you want to win.”

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Capt. Heidi Cook agreed. “We can go all the way. We have a good team and I hope we can win in November.”

Favorite role

In her fourth Billie Jean King Cup selection and her first on home soil, Fernandez was the frontrunner against Latvian players Wissmann and Semenstaga, ranked 267th and 389th in the world respectively.

Latvia was without its best players with injuries. A completely different situation than she experienced last September by pinning three players to the top five en route to the US Open final.

“The mental aspect is the hardest point,” she explained. You have to forget that you are the favorite and you have to win. I have the same respect for Latvian players like Naomi Osaka in New York. The Latvians have earned their place here. »

One way to victory

As was the case in his first game on Friday, Fernandes pounced on his opponent right from the start.

“I’m so happy with the way I played,” she said. I was aggressive and got into the net when I had the opportunity. I was less nervous than in my first match. I knew Latvia was not going to give up 2-0. I had to fight for long points. »

The chef praised Fernandez. “Lella was ready from start to finish,” she said of her number one player. She was aggressive. I am very proud of the girls. »

Fernandes broke three times on Friday, and was perfect on serve this time. Saved two points to break.

In a no-nonsense playoff match result, Gabriela Dabrowski and Karol Zaho beat the duo 6-1, 6-3 over Wissmann and Darja Semenistaga. For Dabrowski, who ranks 9th in the WTA dual rankings, this was the 15th Billie Jean King Cup pick.

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After the doubles win lifted the final score by 4-0, celebrations resumed on the field between the five girls and all members of the team.

After the last team dinner, Fernandez travels to Europe and the clay court season. The Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros courses are on the list.

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