Team Canada is in the final of the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup in Seville, Spain. On Saturday, Canada beat the Czech Republic two matches to one in the semifinals. It was a glorious day for Montreal’s Leylah Annie Fernandez, who won two key matches. First she beat reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 2-6, 6-3. Then she teamed up with Gabriela Dabrowski of Ottawa, Ontario to beat Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, 7-5, 7-6. In the second set tie break, Fernandez, the 2021 United States Open finalist, and Dabrowski won 7-3.
Just how much of a big deal is this Canadian tennis moment? This is the first time ever that Canada has ever been to the final of the Billie Jean King Cup. The tournament started as the Federation Cup in 1963. Their previous best result was in 1988, when they reached the semifinals. In 2022, Canada won the Davis Cup for the very first time.
On Sunday, Canada will play Italy in the final. The Italians are led by Martina Trevisan, the 2022 Wimbledon semifinalist. However, they also have Jasmine Paolini, the 30th ranked player in the world. Paolini has won one WTA event. That was the 2021 Zavarovalnica Sava Portoroz in Slovenia, where Paolini beat Alison Riske of the United States, 7-6, 6-2.