Leylah Fernandez Helps Canada Advance in United Cup Play

Leylah Fernandez has helped Canada advance…

The 21-year-old half-Ecuadorian Canadian tennis player and 2021 US Open finalist led Canada to a 2-1 victory over Chile in its opening United Cup match on Sunday.

Leylah Fernandez Fernandez defeated Daniela Seguel 6-3, 6-2 before Nicolas Jarry leveled the Group B tie for Chile by beating Steven Diez in straight sets.

Diez had replaced Felix Auger-Aliassime, who was rested with a minor knee issue.

Fernandez and Diez then won the deciding mixed doubles against Seguel and Tomás Barrios Vera 7-5, 4-6, 10-8 to seal the tie for the Canadians.

“I’m extremely happy with the way I played,” world No. 35 Fernandez said after her 73-minute win over Seguel. “It wasn’t the greatest match because it is my first match of the season, the nerves, but I’m extremely happy with the way that I was able to manage it.”

Mixed teams from 18 countries are playing in Perth and Sydney in what doubles as a warmup for the Australian Open.

Last month, Fernandez helped lead Canada to its first-ever Billie Jean King Cup title.

Leylah Fernandez Helps Lead Canada to Country’s First-Ever Billie Jean King Cup Title

Leylah Fernandez has helped Canada make history…

The 21-year-old half-Ecuadorian Canadian tennis player and her compatriot Marina Stakusic won their singles matches as Canada beat Italy 2-0 to claim its first-ever Billie Jean King Cup title on Sunday.

Leylah FernandezStakusic, ranked 258th in the world, put Canada ahead by defeating No. 43 Martina Trevisan 7-5, 6-3 for the biggest win of her career, then Fernandez sealed the victory by beating Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-3 at La Cartuja Stadium.

The 20th-ranked Fernandez, runner-up in the 2021 US Open, was perfect for Canada in Seville with four victories, while the 18-year-old Stakusic entered the tournament without a win over a top-100 opponent but earned three of them while representing her nation in Spain.

“I’m so happy and honored that I could play this week,” Stakusic, who didn’t play a WTA main draw match this year, said on court. “This has been the best week of my life.”

Canada defeated 11-time champion Czech Republic in the semifinals, while four-time champion Italy advanced past Slovenia for its first final appearance since 2013.

The 12-team BJK Cup Finals offered a record total of $9.6 million in prize money, including $2.4 million to the champions, the same as the men’s Davis Cup.

Canada, captained by Heidi El Tabakh, is the 13th nation to win the Billie Jean King Cup and the second new champion after Switzerland‘s triumph in Glasgow a year ago.

“I don’t know what to say,” El Tabakh said. “I’m so proud of this team. These girls are incredible. It’s a dream come true.”

The Canada men’s team is the current Davis Cup champion.

The women’s teams competed in four round-robin groups, with the winners advancing to the semifinals. The United States was eliminated by the Czech Republic in a group that also included title-holder Switzerland.

The biggest team competition in women’s tennis started two days after the end of the WTA Finals in Cancun, Mexico, which featured the top eight players on the tour — including winner Iga Swiatek.

Leylah Fernandez Leads Canada to Maiden Billie Jean King Cup Finals

Leylah Fernandez has pulled off two big upsets to help lead Canada into a historic first appearance in the Billie Jean King Cup finals.

The 21-year-old half-Ecuadorian Canadian tennis player pulled off gripping upset wins in singles and doubles at the Billie Jean King Cup in Seville, Spain on Saturday.

Leylah Fernandez Behind Fernandez’s two victories, Canada stunned 11-time champion Czech Republic 2-1 in Saturday’s semifinals. Canada, whose lone previous trip to the event’s semifinals was in 1988, will take on Italy for their first Billie Jean King Cup title on Sunday.

Four-time titlist Italy reached the championship match of the Billie Jean King Cup Finals for the first time in exactly a decade after Martina Trevisan and Jasmine Paolini picked up singles wins at the prestigious team event earlier on Saturday.

Canada had to battle back from a match down to reach the milestone. 2021 Roland Garros singles champion Barbora Krejcikova started the semifinal tie with a 6-2, 6-1 win over rising 18-year-old Marina Stakusic, who was facing a Top 10 player for the first time in her career.

However, Fernandez leveled the tie at 1-1 by upsetting reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova 6-2, 2-6, 6-3. Vondrousova had won her last 11 Billie Jean King Cup singles matches in straight sets — including a win over Fernandez in 2019 — but the Canadian ended that streak.

Fernandez earned the fifth Top 10 win of her career with the victory — and her first Top 10 win since she beat three Top 5 players en route to the 2021 US Open final. Fernandez had gone 0-7 against Top 10 players between the 2021 US Open and Saturday’s win.

Shortly thereafter, Fernandez returned to court, where she paired with reigning US Open doubles champion Gabriela Dabrowski to face the seven-time Grand Slam-winning duo of Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, with a trip to the final in the balance.

In the first set of the doubles match, there were no break points for either team until 5-5, where the Canadians broke through after Siniakova double faulted on deciding point. Dabrowski then held serve at love to squeak out the opening set.

The second set was even closer and went down to the tiebreak, where Fernandez slammed a backhand winner down the line to earn the first mini-break at 3-2. The Canadians never relinquished that advantage, holding on for a 7-5, 7-6(3) win and booking a historic spot in the final.

Leylah Fernandez Helps Lead Canada Into First Billie Jean King Cup Semifinal Since 1988

Leylah Fernandez is celebrating a meaningful victory…

The 21-year-old half-Ecuadorian Canadian tennis player has sealed Canada‘s place in the Billie Jean King Cup semifinals for the first time since 1988, with Italy also reaching the last four in Seville, Spain.

Leylah FernandezFernandez beat Poland’s Magda Linette 6-2 6-3 after Marina Stakusic overcame Magdalena Frech 4-6 7-5 6-3.

Fernandez prevailed in a three-hour match against Sara Sorribes Tormo, which she described as a “bullfight,” to give Canada victory over Spain on Wednesday.

But, a day later, the world number 20 had a comfortable winner over Linette and said she was “proud and ecstatic” that her nation had ended a 35-year wait for a semifinal spot.

Teammates Gabriela Dabrowski and Eugenie Bouchard completed a 3-0 win over Poland – who are without world number one Iga Swiatek – with a 6-2 6-3 win against Weronika Falkowska and Katarzyna Kawa.

Martina Trevisan and Jasmine Paolini confirmed Italy’s progress from Group D with singles wins, before Lucia Bronzetti and Elisabetta Cocciaretto edged a match tie-break against Friedsam and Laura Sigemund in the doubles – winning 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 11-9.

Record 18-time winners the USA, who would face Group C winners Canada should they top Group A, will aim for a last-four place against the Czech Republic on Friday after overcoming winless Switzerland.

Sofia Kenin, playing her first Billie Jean King Cup since 2020, clinched victory by beating Viktorija Golubic 6-3 6-7 (1-7) 7-5 after Danielle Collins won 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 against Celine Naef.

Sloane Stephens and Taylor Townsend ensured a clean sweep for the USA, winning 6-1 7-6 (7-3) against Jil Teichmann and Simona Waltert, as Switzerland’s title defense ended with back-to-back 3-0 losses.

In Group B, Australia beat Kazakhstan 2-1 after Storm Hunter and Ellen Perez won a third set match tie-break in their decisive doubles match against Anna Danilina and Yulia Putintseva, prevailing 6-1 4-6 (10-5).

Hunter had put Australia ahead by winning her singles match against Danilina 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 but Putintseva beat Kimberly Birrell 6-0 7-5 to level the tie.

Kazakhstan play Slovenia in their final group match, with Slovenia guaranteed to progress with victory following their opening win over Australia.

Twelve nations are taking part in the finals of the competition, which was formerly known as the Fed Cup, with teams split into four groups in the round-robin stage.

The group winners will advance to Saturday’s semifinals before the champions are crowned after Sunday’s final in Seville.

The winners will receive prize money of $2.4 million which is part of an overall payment pot of $9.6 million – a record figure for the event which matches the cash awarded in the men’s equivalent Davis Cup.

Leylah Fernandez Helps Lead Canada Past Spain in Billie Jean King Cup Finals Group Play

Leylah Fernandez has helped Canada take down the hosts at this year’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals.

The 21-year-old half-Ecuadorian Canadian tennis player edged past Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo 7-6 (8), 7-6 (7) in Group C of the tournament on Wednesday, sending Canada to the semi-finals.

Leylah FernandezMeanwhile, teenager Marina Stakusic got the biggest win of her career when she defeated No. 65-ranked Rebeka Masarova. 

The 18-year-old Stakusic, ranked No. 258 in the world, defeated Masarova 6-3, 6-1 to give Canada the first point of the day at La Cartuja Stadium.

Stakusic’s previous career-best victory had been against No. 152 Jaimee Fourlis in 2022. She had never beaten a top 100 opponent.

In the doubles, Eugenie Bouchard and Gabriela Dabrowski beat Sorribes Tormo and Masarova 6-2, 7-5.

In Group D, Italy defeated France 2-1.

The 12 teams in the BJK Cup Finals compete in four round-robin groups and the winners will advance to the semifinals this weekend.

Leylah Fernandez to Make Debut at Upcoming United Cup Mixed Team Event

United Leylah Fernandez stands…

The 21-year-old half-Ecuadorian Canadian tennis player will take part in the new-look United Cup mixed team event in Perth and Sydney from December 29 to January 7 as one of the key warm-up tournaments for the Australian Open.

Leylah FernandezFernandez, who will be paired up with compatriot Felix Auger-Aliassime, will compete for the first time as she represents her home country.

France, the No. 4 seed, will be led by part-Spanish French tennis player Caroline Garcia and Adrian Mannarino.

Team Poland, led by world No. 2 and four-time Grand Slam champion Iga Swiatek and Hubert Hurkacz, has been named as the top seed for the 2024 edition after the entries from the top 16 countries were released by Tennis Australia.

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari will lead No.2-seeded Greece, with the defending champion United States, featuring Jessica Pegula and Taylor Fritz, seeded third. Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova will headline the Czech Republic team alongside Jiri Lehecka while Croatia rounds out the top six, featuring Borna Coric and Donna Vekic.

China’s Qinwen Zheng and Zhizhen Zhang and the Netherlands’ Tallon Griekspoor and Arantxa Rus will also compete for the first time.

Serbia will be led by Novak Djokovic and Olga Danilovic.

Other entries include Norway’s Casper Ruud, Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber and Britain’s Cameron Norrie.

Each team will consist of men’s singles, women’s singles and mixed doubles.

The Australian Open is scheduled for Melbourne Park from January 14-28.

Leylah Fernandez Reaches First-Ever Grand Slam Final in Doubles at French Open

Leylah Fernandez is thisclose to a first Grand Slam title…

The 20-year-old half-Ecuadorian Canadian professional tennis player and her women’s doubles partner Taylor Townsend, the No. 10 sends at the French Open, needed only 64 minutes to book their place in a first Grand Slam final together, defeating No. 2 seeds Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula 6-0, 6-4 at Roland Garros.

Leylah Fernandez, Taylor TownsendFor Fernandez, the 2021 US Open runner-up in singles, the result marks her first Grand Slam final in doubles.

Townsend advances to her second major final, having been runner-up alongside Caty McNally at last year’s US Open to Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova. French Open

They will face unseeded Hsieh Su-Wei and Wang Xinyu for the title, after they upset No. 6 seeds Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Perez in the other semifinal, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

They will face unseeded Hsieh Su-Wei and Wang Xinyu for the title, after they upset No. 6 seeds Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Perez in the other semifinal, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

The Canadian-American duo first teamed up at Indian Wells in March, and their record together now stands at 14-4.

The defeat of Gauff and Pegula reverses the result of the Miami final, which the all-American team won 7-6 (6), 6-2.

Townsend also exacted a measure of revenge for last year’s Roland Garros semifinals, which – partnered with Madison Keys — she lost 6-4, 7-6(4) to Gauff and Pegula.

“I’m just honestly so proud of how we were able to play and perform,” Townsend said afterwards. “I told Leylah after the match, ‘This is what we have been building towards over the past couple of months.’ From where we started as a team and just figuring each other out to now, understanding each other so well and being able to play such great, consistent tennis/

“Especially I’m really proud of how we were able to kind of put our last result behind us. We lost to Jess and Coco in the finals in Miami, and we were able to learn from it, detach from the result, and then just understand and take what we learned in that match and apply it into this one. I’m so proud of like how we were able to stay focused and committed to what we were doing on our side of the net and not worry about what they were doing.

“I’m so proud, but, you know, work is not done. We’ve still got one more. You know, this match, I’m sure for Leylah, as well, this match has made me even more hungry to hold the winning trophy.”

Beatriz Haddad Maia Defeats Karolina Pliskova to Reach First-Ever WTA Masters Final

Beatriz Haddad Maia is one win away from her first-ever WTA 1000 title.

The 26-year-old Brazilian professional tennis player beat Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 7-6 (9) in the late semifinal at the National Bank Open to reach a WTA Masters event final for the first time ever.

Beatriz Haddad MaiaShe becomes the first Brazilian woman to reach a WTA Masters event final.

Haddad Maia was dominant for most of the first set, quickly building a 5-1 lead. Plishkova started to build some momentum, however, winning three consecutive games.

Haddad Maia’s 184 km/h serve on set point left Plishkova off-footed and the Czech player put her return into the net.

Plishkova had a strong start to the second set, building a 4-1 lead. But the 26-year-old Brazilian dug deep, tying the set 5-5.

After they exchanged games, the second set went to tiebreak.

Haddad Maia led the tiebreak 8-7 for second match point when Pliskova double faulted, angrily swatting away the Brazilian’s return.

Haddad Maia will face Simona Halep in the women’s final at Sobeys Stadium.

The WTA event was hard on seeded players with the top six all being eliminated before the quarterfinals. Haddad Maia was responsible for three of those upsets, taking down 13th seeded Leylah Fernandez, world No. 1 Iga Swiatek, and 14th seeded Pliskova.

Leylah Fernandez Defeats Amanda Anisimova to Reach Her First-Ever French Open Quarterfinals

It’s a new personal best for Leylah Fernandez at the French Open

The 19-year-old half-Ecuadorian Canadian tennis player outlasted USA’s Amanda Anisimova 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in their fourth-round match on Sunday in Paris, France to reach her first-ever quarterfinals at Roland Garros.

Leylah FernandezFernandez’s opportunities abound in a decimated women’s singles draw that lost nine of its top 10 seeds in the first week.

Only world No. 1 Iga Swiatek remains. She’s in the other half, and the two could only meet in the final.

“It was a very hard match, an incredible match for the both of us. I think we brought a high level,” Fernandez said of the win over Anisimova.

The American was a women’s singles semifinalist at age 17, in 2019, the year 16-year-old Fernandez won the junior girls’ title.

Since then, their careers have gone in somewhat opposite directions.

“I’m just glad that today I was able to fight through some difficult moments and just enjoy the game as much as possible,” Fernandez added.

Fernandez, now based in Florida, will next face No. 59 ranked Martina Trevisan, who beat Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich 7-6 (10), 7-5 in the fourth round on Sunday.

Fernandez is the first Canadian woman to make the Roland Garros quarterfinals since Eugenie Bouchard in 2014.

Leylah Fernandez Outlasts Camila Osorio to Claim Second Straight Monterrey Open Title

Leylah Fernandez is a repeat defender

The 19-year-old half-Ecuadorian Canadian tennis player outlasted Colombia’s Camila Osorio in an absolutely thrilling final at the Monterrey Open on Sunday night, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (3), to win the WTA 250 hard-court event for the second year in a row.

Leylah FernandezFernandez has to fight off five match points late in the third set to win the tournament.

Fernandez has now won her last 10 matches in a row in Monterrey, 17 of her last 20 matches in Mexico and 19 of her last 24 matches in North America.

There were all kinds of momentum swings throughout the two-hour, 52-minute battle, including right from the get-go, as Fernandez stormed out to a 3-0 lead after just eight minutes on court, eventually extending that to 5-2—but an increasingly determined Osorio clawed back to take the opening set in a tie-break.

Fernandez got back on track in the second set, building a 4-1, double-break lead. Osorio began building another comeback, getting one break back, but Fernandez held onto the other one and ended up serving it out to take it to a decider.

After Fernandez broke in the first game of the third set, Osorio won four games in a row to build a 4-1 lead, then Fernandez came back to 4-all, and that’s when the tension reached its peak—Fernandez staved off five match points, one serving to stay in the match at 4-5 and another four serving to stay in the match at 5-6, the last one coming after a 15-minute-plus delay after several lights in the stadium went out.

But once the lights came back on Fernandez came alive one last time, winning 10 of the last 13 points to close it out, ripping a flurry of forehand winners along the way.

At the end of the day, Fernandez’s numbers were just a bit tidier than Osorio’s—she finished with 15 more winners, 44 to 29, to only 9 more unforced errors, 60 to 51.

Fernandez won her second WTA Tour title, having also won Monterrey last year. She’s the third woman in the 14-year history of the event to win it in back-to-back years, after Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (2010-2011) and Garbine Muguruza (2018-2019).

She had also come back from the brink of defeat in the second round earlier in the week—she was two points away from losing serving to stay in the match at 5-6 in the third set against China’s Zheng Qinwen before winning that one, 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (3).

Despite the narrow loss in the final, it was a great week for the 20-year-old Osorio, who reached her third WTA final—her first two came last year, winning Bogota and finishing runner-up in Tenerife. She also got the second-biggest win of her career along the way, beating No. 15-ranked Elina Svitolina in the quarterfinals—her biggest win also came against Svitolina, when the Ukrainian was No. 6 in Tenerife last year.

The 20-year-old Colombian now rises from No. 44—which was already her career-high—to a new career-high of No. 35 on the new WTA rankings.

On this day a year ago, she was ranked No. 185.