"Always said the biggest pride of any athlete is to represent their country": Leylah Fernandez sees importance in representing Canada at Billie Jean King Cup Finals

Thursday, 09 November 2023 at 01:30
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Leylah Fernandez leads the Canadian team in the Billie Jean King Cup Finals and talked about the importance she places on representing her country.
Former US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez had a strong end to the season, allowing her to climb the WTA Ranking and start 2024 from a more comfortable position. The 21-year-old tennis player spent a significant part of the year outside the top 60 and often had to go through qualifiers to enter the main draw in some of the most important tournaments.
Fernandez's strong year-end finish, including reaching the quarterfinals of the WTA 1000 Guadalajara Open, making it to the semifinals at the Nanchang Open, and capturing the title in Hong Kong, all within the last six weeks, has propelled her to finish the year as the world No. 35.
Aware of her good form, she is the main player for the Canadian Billie Jean King Cup team this week, as they will not have the former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu. Nonetheless, she expressed her excitement at being part of the team.
“I’m always excited to be part of this Canada team,” Leylah said in the press conference. “We have a great support staff and the girls here are super amazing. They always bring out the best in me and I have a lot of pride when I play for my country."
“My dad, who is a football player, always said the biggest pride of any athlete is to represent their country and to have the country’s name on their back. Every time I step on court, I always just want to fight, be the best version of myself and give Team Canada a chance to win,” she said.
The Canadian team also includes former world No. 5 Eugenie Bouchard, Rebecca Marino, Gabriela Dabrowski, and Marina Stakusic. They are in the same group as Spain, led by Paula Badosa and Sara Sorribes Tormo, as well as the team from Poland, which will not have the world No. 1 Iga Swiatek but features top singles players Magda Linette and Magdalena Frech.

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