Jun 14, 2024

Leylah Annie Fernandez (second from right) shares the Billie Jean King trophy with Team Canada. Photo by Martin Sidorjak, Team Canada.
Leylah Annie Fernandez (second from right) shares the Billie Jean King trophy with Team Canada. Photo by Martin Sidorjak, Team Canada.

November 16, 2023 — Leylah Annie Fernandez's straight-sets victory (6-2, 6-3) over Italy's Jasmine Paolini on November 12 at the international team tennis tournament in Seville, Spain helped Team Canada win the Billie Jean King Cup champions for the first time.

Canada’s first win at the Billie Jean King Cupadds another feather for the young Fernandez’s professional career which started at the age of 16. 

In an on-court interview, Fernandez said, "It feels amazing and I'm extremely proud that I was able to get to represent Canada on the biggest stage. To do it in front of Billie Jean, it means the world to me, to us and hopefully we can keep going, celebrate tonight and just have fun."

The 21-year-old tennis phenom beat Paolini in the final game in one hour 39 minutes. Fernandez won all five of her matches this week, helping Canada advance to the final.

Team Canada will receive $2.4 million US in prize money for the victory, a record for the women's team event formerly known as the Fed Cup, said to be known as the most prestigious tennis title in women's international team play and equivalent to this year's Davis Cup men's champion.


About the Author
Rachel Ramos-Reid started writing for magazines and newspapers when she was still a junior at the University of the Philippines’ Communication degree program majoring in Journalism. She continued to write in a public relations/corporate communications capacity in various private and government offices until moving out of the country in 1997 to work as Programme Officer for the arts and culture branch of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO-SPAFA) in Bangkok, Thailand. At the end of her term, Rachel found herself immigrating to Canada in the year 2000 and again searching for new beginnings. Currently she is the Executive Assistant to a small rural college on Vancouver Island.


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