Leila Annie Fernandez wins Canada’s Billy Jean King Cup playoff tie today in Kraljevo, Serbia.
Fernandes, an 18-year-old from Laval, Queue, defeated Nina Stojanovic of Serbia 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to give Canada a 3-0 lead.
When Fernandez, ranked 72nd in the world, was about to get his fifth match point chance against 87th-ranked Stojanovic, some lights went out on the indoor hard court facility.
Stojanovic came back from a 13-minute delay and won by a long point, trailing 5-4 in the third set. But Fernandez won the next two points and ended a match that lasted two hours and 46 minutes.
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Canada beat Toronto’s Carol Zhao and Vancouver’s Rebecca Marino 4-6, 6-3, 10-0 to set up a 4-0 victory over Ivana Zorovic and Alexandra Krunik in the set.
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Canada was without its best singles player Bianca Andres, who has a leg injury. Gabriela Dabrowski, Canada’s best doubles player, did not play either.
“I am so proud of myself for being able to push the nerves of this competition,” Fernandez said. “I know it’s not easy.”
230 shocked Marino Stojanovic
It was the second longest match in a row for Fernandez, who needed two hours and 34 minutes to beat Olga Danilovic 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 in the opening match yesterday.
The 230th-ranked Marino then gave Canada a 2-0 lead, regretting a 6-4, 7-6 (6) win over Stojanovic.
He made 63 unforced errors against top-ranked Serbian Stojanovic Fernandez. The Canadian had 45 unregulated errors.
Fernandez, who won his first career WTA Tour title in Mexico last month, is in the middle of a promising year.
“It will definitely boost a lot of confidence. It helps a lot,” he said. “It’s not an easy start to the year for me, but I continued to train and keep improving, and I’m glad I got my first degree in Mexico a few weeks ago. It was great for my upcoming season. ”
Canada is advancing to next year’s qualifiers, where it will get a win in the 2022 Billi Jean King Cup final.
The Billy Jean King Cup is the new name for the Fed Cup – the best international team competition in women’s tennis.
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