Canada’s Victory Over Czech Republic Sets Up Billie Jean King Cup Final Against Italy

Leylah Fernandez celebrates with her Canadian teammates. (Credit: AFP)

Canada, who were competing in the semi-finals for the first time in 35 years, knocked out the fancied Czechs, who have won the competition 11 times — behind only record 18

Canada reached the Billie Jean King Cup final for the first time in their history with a thrilling 2-1 win over the Czech Republic on Saturday, setting up a championship match against Italy.

Four-time champions Italy beat Slovenia 2-0 earlier on in Seville in the first semi-final, winning both singles rubbers.

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Canada’s Leylah Fernandez beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 to level the tie at 1-1 after Barbora Krejcikova defeated Marina Stakusic 6-2, 6-1.

Then Fernandez and Gabriela Dabrowski defeated Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova 7-5, 7-6 (7/3) in the deciding doubles.

“It’s been a great day for us, for Team Canada,” said Fernandez.

“Gaby was always there to attack and take it to them… I’m just happy I have a great partner out there (Dabrowski) who can show me how to do it.”

Rookie Stakusic, 18, who recorded career-highlight wins over Spain’s Rebeka Masarova and Poland’s Magdalena Frech in the group, was swept aside in straight sets by world number 10 Krejcikova in the opening singles rubber.

However world number 35 Fernandez, who has enjoyed a fine week at the tournament, triumphed over 2023 Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova to take the tie to the deciding doubles.

READ: Italy Beat Slovenia to Clinch Billie Jean King Cup Final Spot