Vancouver | Leila Annie Fernandez scored her second qualifying win over Latvia on Saturday at Pacific Stadium to push Canada into the Billie Jean Cup final in front of a crowd.
Fernandez’s 6-2 6-1 victory over Daniela Vismane gave Canada a third point and confirmed victory regardless of the outcome of the doubles match. The second song of the day has been cancelled.
Canada thus qualified for the Billie Jean King Cup final in November (location to be determined) which will bring together the top 12 nations divided into four groups.
“I will remember this day for the rest of my life,” Fernandez said in a press briefing after the meeting. “It means everything to me because I helped Canada qualify for the final.
“Seeing the whole team smile when I confirmed our qualification is a moment I will always remember, and it is a continuation of the number 21 racket in the world who celebrated the Canadian flag and his teammates after winning. This is the atmosphere I love in the team competitions. I am just a small part of a great team winning.”
to the end
Fernandez believes Canada has the tools to win the final. “We are constantly getting ahead. We want to show the world that we are a tennis country and not just hockey. Canadians are nice, but we can be mean sometimes because we want to win.
Capt. Heidi Cook agreed. “We can go all the way. We have a good squad and I hope we can win in November.
In her fourth Billie Jean King Cup selection and her first on home soil, Fernandez was the frontrunner against Latvian players Wissmann and Semenstaga, ranked 267th and 389th in the world respectively.
Latvia was without its best players with injuries. A completely different situation than she experienced last September by pinning three players to the top five en route to the US Open final.
She explained that the mental aspect is the most difficult point. You have to forget that you are the favorite and you have to win. I have the same respect for the Latvian players that I had for Naomi Osaka in New York. The Latvians have earned their place here.”
One way to victory
As was the case on Friday in his first game, Fernandes pounced on his opponent right from the start.
“I’m so happy with the way I played,” she said. I was aggressive and got into the net when I had the opportunity. I was less nervous than in my first match. I knew Latvia would not give up 2-0. I had to fight for long points.”
The chef praised Fernandez. “Lella was ready from start to finish,” she said of her number one player. She was aggressive. I’m very proud of the girls.”
Fernandes broke three times on Friday, and was perfect on serve this time. Saved two points for a break.
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