Canada make history by winning first Billie Jean King Cup title

Marina Stakusic and Leylah Fernandez led Canada to a stunning 2-0 victory over Italy to win their nation’s first ever Billie Jean King Cup title

Billie Jean King Cup Canada win Zuma/Panoramic

Canada have swept the field to win the Billie Jean King Cup for the first time in their history.

The Canadians stunned four-time champions Italy in the final with another superb team performance.

Marina Stakusic, who has been the breakout star of this year’s Finals, and Leylah Fernandez, who has led Canada majestically throughout, both won their singles matches in straight sets to clinch a superb win.

Stakusic punches above her weight for Canada

18-year-old Stakusic, ranked 258th in the world, started the day with another monumental upset, sweeping to a 7-5, 6-3 victory over world No 43 Martina Trevisan. Fernandez then duly followed that up by defeating Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-3 in a brilliant display to ensure the trophy went to Canada.

Stakusic has produced a series of stunning upsets throughout this year’s Finals, having also beaten world No 65 Rekeba Masarova and world No 63 Magdalena Frech earlier in the week.

Having upset the Czech Republic in the last four, neither Stakusic nor Fernandez showed any sign of nerves in a final that was impressively executed by the Canadian duo.

This victory comes just one year on from the Canadian men’s team winning the Davis Cup for the first time, as Canada now owns the remarkable mantle of being champion of both the men’s and women’s world cups of tennis.

Canada’s previous best result at the Billie Jean King Cup had been a semi-final result in 1988, but this week’s showing in Seville has been an exhibition of the bright future Canadian tennis has in store.

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