"I can finally say, ‘we’re world champions’, and we deserve it": Leylah Fernandez ecstatic as Canada win Billie Jean King Cup

Leylah Fernandez has expressed her excitement after Team Canada won the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Seville, Spain.

Team Canada defeated Italy in the final to be crowned world champions for the first time at the international team tournament. Marina Stakusic kicked off Canada's success in the final, causing an upset against Martina Trevisan to win the match 7-5, 6-3, concluding what has been a breakthrough week for the 18-year-old.

Following this, 2021 US Open finalist Fernandez sealed the deal for Canada, defeating Italian No. 1 Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-3. After successfully converting match point, the 21-year-old threw her racket in the air and and ran over to her team to celebrate.

Fernandez: we keep improving every year

Fernandez proceeded to share her joy as she described how "ecstatic" she was to help her country win the title: "I’m extremely happy – ecstatic," she 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."

The last month has been very successful for Fernandez, as she won her first title in 18 months at the Hong Kong Open, defeating Mirra Andreeva, Linda Fruhvirtova, and Anna Blinkova before emerging victorious from a three-set battle with Katerina Siniakova in the final.

Team Canada's captain Heidi El-Tabakh also praised her team, thanking them all for their contributions: "I’m so incredibly proud and it’s been a pleasure sharing the court with them all week. Everyone who is here currently has been a huge asset to the Canadian team throughout the years. We wouldn’t be here without every single one of them," she said.

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