Tennis

Canada's Leylah Fernandez named 2021 Billie Jean King Cup Play-Offs Heart Award

Canadian Leylah Fernandez has been announced the winner of the 2021 Billie Jean King Cup Play-Offs Heart Award for her outstanding performances in Team Canada's 4-0 victory over Serbia in April.

Laval, Que., native's 2 singles victories lifted Canada to 4-0 sweep over Serbia

Canada's Leylah Fernandez beat out nominees Katie Boulter of Great Britain, Magdalena French of Poland and Elina Svitolina of Ukraine for the 2021 Billie Jean King Cup Play-Offs Heart Award. (Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty Images)

Canadian Leylah Fernandez has been announced the winner of the 2021 Billie Jean King Cup Play-Offs Heart Award on Monday for her outstanding performances in Canada's 4-0 victory over Serbia in April.

The honour is presented to players who represent their country with distinction, demonstrated exceptional courage on the court and shown outstanding commitment to their team at the Billie Jean King Cup.

The Laval, Que., native's two singles victories catapulted Canada into securing its place in next year's qualifiers.

"I am honoured and so thrilled to win this year's Billie Jean King Cup Heart Award," Fernandez said. "Thank you so much to the fans who voted. It means the world to me to represent my country and be part of an incredible team.

"Congratulations to all of the nominees. After such a challenging year for all of us, it's amazing to be given the opportunity to celebrate kindness and pay it forward. Thank you very much. Go Canada Go!"

WATCH | Fernandez seals the deal for Canada at Billie Jean King Cup:

Fernandez seals Billie Jean King Cup win for Canada

Sports

2 months ago
3:55
Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada defeated Serbia's Nina Stojanovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 Saturday in Kraljevo, Serbia to give Canada a 3-0 lead in the best-of-five tie at the Billie Jean King Cup. 3:55

The 18-year-old beat out nominees Katie Boulter of Great Britain, Magdalena French of Poland and Elina Svitolina of Ukraine for the award. The nominees were selected by a panel that includes International Tennis Federation (ITF) President David Haggerty, Cup Ambassador Billie Jean King, in addition to former players and members of the media.

Competing as Canada's No. 1 singles player, in the absence of Bianca Andreescu, Fernandez outlasted Olga Danilovic 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 on day one and followed up that performance with another three set victory over Nina Stojanovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on day two.

Canadian Rebecca Marino won the other singles match, and then teamed up with Carol Zhao in doubles to seal the 4-0 sweep for a Canadian team led by Captain Heidi El Tabakh.

"I am so happy and extremely proud of Leylah for winning the Billie Jean King Cup Play-Offs Heart Award," El Tabakh said. "It was well deserved following a spectacular performance in Serbia, which she worked so hard for. Leylah is a great fighter on the court, she always represents Canada with pride and is an incredible teammate for her fellow players. She is a very worthy winner of this award."

WATCH | Canada's Leylah Fernandez comes out victorious in opening match at Billie Jean King Cup:

Canada's Leylah Annie Fernandez wins opening match at Billie Jean King Cup

Sports

2 months ago
4:27
Leylah Annie Fernandez of Laval, Que., defeated Serbia's Olga Danilovic 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 in the opener rubber of their Billie Jean King Cup playoff tie. 4:27

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