Canada capped off a great Billie Jean King Cup campaign by winning the title at the Estadio de la Cartuja, Seville, Spain, on Sunday, 12 November 2023.
They beat Italy 2-0 to take the title and win a record $2.4 million (R45 002 640,00) in prize money.
Marina Stakusic got the Canadians off to winning ways, as she dispatched Martina Trevisan 7-5; 6-3. The teenager has caught the eye of the tennis world during the competition, having enjoyed some big wins for her side.
Leylah Fernandez sealed the victory for her team when she beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2; 6-3 for Canada’s first-ever title at the Billie Jean King Cup.
The doubles match between the two teams wasn’t played however that didn’t matter as Canada had already secured the tie.
“I’m extremely happy – ecstatic,” Fernandez told billiejeankingcup.com. “It’s the first time that Canada has ever won Billie Jean King Cup and I can finally say, ‘we’re world champions’, and we deserve it.
“We have worked really hard these past years and, as I have said before, every year we just keep improving and it’s showing on the tennis court. It is showing in competitions and now it has shown on the biggest stage in the world.”
Canada is the second new champions in as many years. Switzerland won their first title in 2022.
Despite falling short in winning their first Billie Jean King Cup title in 10 years, Italy will still feel they had a successful campaign in Spain.
Paolini, Trevisan, Lucia Bronzetti, Elisabetta Cocciaretto, and Lucrezia Stefanini have all reached career-high singles rankings after their performances in this tournament.
Italy captain Tathiana Garbin said on billijeankingcup.com, this tournament has bonded her team in so many ways.
“When you fall down, it means you have something to pick yourself up for,” she said. “You have to look around and find what is your treasure. I think we have learned a lot this week.
“My team is getting so close as a family – we are really close to each other. We know when somebody falls, there are a group of people that will take you up. That is what it is like, we lost today but we are together.
“We have learned this week how to stand up and stand up together. That is the lesson and the most important lesson we have learned.”
Photo caption: Canada capped a great Billie Jean King Cup campaign by winning the title at the Estadio de la Cartuja, Seville, Spain, on Sunday, 12 November 2023. Photo: BJK Cup on X