Leylah Annie Fernandez wraps up Billie Jean King Cup win for Canada against Serbia

​​​​​​​Leylah Annie Fernandez clinched a Billie Jean King Cup playoff tie victory for Canada with a dramatic win today in Kraljevo, Serbia.

Canadians clinch best-of-5 tie by winning 3 straight matches

Leylah Annie Fernandez, the top-ranked singles player in the indoor hard-court-tie at No. 72, defeated Serbia's Nina Stojanovic on Saturday to clinch the best-of-five tie for Canada. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images/File)

Leylah Annie Fernandez clinched a Billie Jean King Cup playoff tie victory for Canada with a dramatic win today in Kraljevo, Serbia.

The 18-year-old Fernandez, from Laval, Que., beat Serbia's Nina Stojanovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to give Canada an insurmountable 3-0 lead in the best-of-five tie.

Fernandez, ranked 72nd in the world, was about to have her fifth match-point opportunity against the 87th-ranked Stojanovic when some of the lights went out at the indoor hard-court facility.

Stojanovic, with serve and trailing 5-4 in the third set, came back from the 13-minute delay to win a long point. But Fernandez won the next two points to finally put an end to a match that lasted two hours 46 minutes.

WATCH | Fernandez outlasts Serbia's Stojanovic:

Fernandez seals Billie Jean King Cup win for Canada


22 days ago
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
"I think it was just trying to trick myself that it wasn't match point for me, that I wasn't up in the third set," Fernandez said of her attitude after the lights went off. "It was more, let's earn this point, thinking it's 0-0 or that I'm down in a set trying to get back into it. Just fight for every point."

Canada won the tie 4-0 after Toronto's Carol Zhao and Vancouver's Rebecca Marino beat Ivana Jorovic and Aleksandra Krunic 4-6, 6-3, 10-0 in a dead-rubber doubles match.

WATCH | Canada sweeps without Andreescu, Dabrowski:

Clean sweep for Canada at Billie Jean King Cup


22 days ago
Canada's doubles team of Carol Zhao and Rebecca Marino defeated Ivana Jorovic and Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia 4-6, 6-3, 10-0 in a dead-rubber doubles match Saturday to finish off the Billie Jean King Cup with a record of 4-0. 0:29
Canada was without its top singles player, Bianca Andreescu, who has a foot injury. Gabriela Dabrowski, Canada's top doubles player, also didn't play.

"Honestly very proud of myself that I was able to push through the nerves of this match," Fernandez said. "I knew it was not going to be easy."

230th-ranked Marino shocks Stojanovic

It was the second long match in a row for Fernandez, who needed two hours 34 minutes to beat Olga Danilovic 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 in the opener yesterday.

The 230th-ranked Marino then gave Canada a commanding 2-0 lead with a 6-4, 7-6 (6) upset against Stojanovic.

The top-ranked Serbian, Stojanovic made 63 unforced errors against Fernandez. The Canadian had 45 unforced errors.

Fernandez is in the midst of a promising year, having won her first career WTA Tour title last month in Mexico.

"It's definitely a big confidence boost. It helps a lot," she said. "It wasn't an easy start of the year for me but I kept training, kept improving and I was happy to get my first title a few weeks ago in Mexico. And here to be playing for my country, getting those emotions, the support from my teammates … from our country was tremendously helpful. Just to win this weekend was great for my upcoming season."

Canada advances to next year's qualifiers, where a win would secure a berth in the 2022 Billie Jean King Cup Finals.

The Billie Jean King Cup is the new name for the Fed Cup — the top international team tournament in women's tennis.

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