Leylah and Rebecca wins at the BJK Cup

Photos: Srdjan Stevanovic

Rebecca Marino continued the Canadian winning streak started by Leylah Fernandez at the Billie Jean King Cup by winning the second match of the elimination tie in 6-4, 7-6(6) over world no. 87 Nina Stojanovic). Canada now leads Serbia the end of day one.

Rebecca was able to impose her rhythm on Stojanovic from the start of the first set. In the second game, she forced the Serb to save two break points to avoid an early deficit. Although Stojanovic recovered to take a 3-2 break lead, Rebecca wasn’t fazed. She quickly took her opponent’s serve in the next game to regain control of the match. It was on her second break point in the tenth game that the Vancouver native closed out the set 6-4 and had the wind in her sails heading into set two.

Rebecca carried her momentum into the second set, jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead over Stojanovic. However, the contest tightened up drastically over the next five games, as neither player was able to take advantage of her serve. Fans were treated to six consecutive breaks before Stojanovic finally held her serve in the eighth game to level the score at 4-4. Still, Marino remained calm and patient. Relying on her powerful serve (10 aces in the match), she won her next two service games comfortably to lead 6-5. Although the Serbian managed to hold on to force a tiebreak, the Canadian sealed the outcome on her third match point to win the set 7-6(6).

Canada 2 — Serbia 0

For Rebecca, this is the third win of her career at the Billie Jean King Cup. It’s interesting to note that her first win came in 2011, also against Serbia. She beat Aleksandra Krunic 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

Tomorrow, Marino will face Olga Danilovic following the match between Leylah Fernandez and Stojanovic. Danilovic, ranked no. 162 in the world, lost 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 to Fernandez earlier today. 

Saturday’s matches will be broadcast live on Sportsnet One and TVA Sports.

Leylah fernandez sets the tone; wins against danilovic

Leylah happy with the win BJK CUP 2021
Photo: Srdjan Stevanovic

Leylah Fernandez set the tone on Friday in the Bille Jean King Cup tie betwen Canada and Serbia being held this weekend. The 18-year-old defeated Olga Danilovic (no. 162) 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 in the opening match to give Canada the early 1-0 lead. It was Fernandez’s second career victory in this prestigious team competition. 

Fernandez broke serve the first time asking in the opening set, but Danilovic quickly broke back in the following game. The two players exchanged breaks twice more in the set until the Laval native finally one upped her opponent to finally take it 7-5. 

The battle remained close in the second set, but this time it was the Serb who got the extra break to force a decisive final frame which started just as the others did : the two players going back and forth in closely contested games. Fernandez saved two break points in the second game and followed up that hold with a break to give herself a 4-1 advantage.

The Laval native discovered a newfound energy and seemingly had her foot on the gas, but Danilovic wasn’t ready to go down without a fight. Trailing 3-5, she broke with Fernandez serving for the match, but Fernandez steadied herself in the next game to close out the match after two hours and 35 minutes of play.

Canada 1 – Serbia 0

Fernandez’s next match will be tomorrow, April 17, at 5 a.m. ET, against 24-year-old Nina Stojanovic who is currently on court against Rebecca Marino in Friday’s second encounter. Stojanovic is Serbia’s top player this weekend thanks to her no. 87 world ranking. She has a Billie Jean King Cup singles record of 2-6.

The match will be broadcast on Sportsnet One and TVA Sports.