Canada waited a long time, but finally got their hands on the Billie Jean King Cup for the first time on Sunday.
Quebec’s Leylah Fernandez proved her dominance by beating Jasmine Paolini in straight sets 6-2, 6-3 to help Canada defeat Italy 2-0 in the final to take top honors.
Fernández remained perfect in four matches during the tournament and was not threatened by her opponent during this clash that lasted one hour and 39 minutes.
Canada’s best finish at this tournament was a semifinal appearance in 1988. Italy, meanwhile, was looking for a fifth title and first since 2013.
This Canadian Billie Jean King Cup win follows the men’s Davis Cup win in 2022.
Canada took another step towards that first title as young Marina Stakusic continued her run of success by defeating Italy’s Martina Trevisan in straight sets 7-5, 6-3 to put her country ahead by 1 -0.
At 18, Stakusic improved his record to 3-1 since the start of the tournament. Her only loss came on Saturday, against Barbora Krejcikova, the 2021 Roland-Garros champion.
Stakusic had to show character and composure against Trevisan on Sunday. After breaking her opponent in the second game of the match and taking a 4-1 lead, the Canadian lost her serve twice.
With balls in hand to win the first set, the Italian collapsed and won just four of the next 16 points to give Stakusic the opening set.
Trevisan held on at the start of the second lap, breaking the Canadian in the first half. Stakusic, however, took the lead thanks to two consecutive breaks to take a 4-2 lead.
Stakusic gave herself four match points at 5-2, but Trevisan was able to hold on to force the Canadian to serve for the match. The 18-year-old managed the last game without giving the Italian any points.
Against Paolini, Fernández started in the fifth match, after being the victim of a first break. He won four straight games to win the first set.
The Quebecer did it again to Paolini in the second set, breaking her in the third game. Fernández had a chance to serve for the match, but the nerves seemed to show and he broke.
The Italian found her balls again, but despite a 40-15 advantage, she let Fernández win four points in a row, the last of which came after a backhand cross.
To see on video