Canada won its first, historic Billie Jean King Cup, beating Italy in the final. The Italian team was one step away from victory against Canada, losing the two singles matches. For Canada this is an epic success, because it won the most important team event for the first time in its history, one year after the feat achieved by the men's movement last year.
And Leylah Fernandez's performances in the competition were impressive. The 21-year-old from Montreal has triumphed in 16 of the last 17 matches played. Italy confirmed the negative balance with Canada in head-to-head matches, which are now 1-4.
This time, Martina Trevisan and Jasmine Paolini were unable to make a difference and gave up without winning a single set.
The historic first success for Canada
Marina Stakusic was the other big star of the final, showing exceptional tennis.
The current number 258 in the WTA ranking surprisingly defeated Trevisan with a score of 7-5, 6-3. The Italian started badly, but she had the merit of not giving up: two breaks in a row allowed her to serve for the first set.
Right in the key moment, Trevisan showed a little too much uncertainty and sensationally left his rival three consecutive games from 5-4. Stakusic also had the satisfaction of triumphing in the second set, full of errors. break and counter break.
Ahead 4-2, the Canadian no longer offered Trevisan a chance. Leylah Fernandez completed the success and the perfect week with a tough 6-2, 6-3 defeat of Paolini. The former US Open finalist was able to impose her own pace on the exchanges and nail Paolini with a series of incredible shots.
An acceleration of the forehand allowed Fernandez to catch Paolini unprepared in the opening game. The Italian number one put pressure on her opponent and equalized the score at 1-2. In the fifth game, however, the Canadian pulled a fantastic forehand out of the hat.
In the second game set, the plot did not change. After stopping Paolini, Fernandez erased a counter break point by finding a formidable running forehand. A blow that cut off Paolini's legs and definitively oriented the match.
Below are the highlights of the match between Fernandez and Paolini, which decreed Canada's success.