Photo : Joe Ng
See you in November.
Team Canada presented by Safeway is heading back to the Billie Jean King Cup Finals after Leylah Annie Fernandez put the Canadians ahead 3-0 in their playoff tie against Latvia with her second singles win.
The sweep was then completed when Gabriela Dabrowski and Carol Zhao won the doubles match in straight sets.
With a spot in the Finals on the line, Fernandez was locked in from the strart, cruising past Daniela Vismane 6-2, 6-1 to clinch the win for Canada on home soil at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver.
A day after blowing out Darja Semenistaja in the opening match of the tie, the Canadian kept her returning level high, converting five of eight break points. In total, she broke serve 12 times in 15 return games in the tie. Fernandez added 23 winners to just 11 wins in the straight-sets win.
Fernandez picked up where she left off after dominating on return Friday night, breaking Vismane in the opening game of the match with a trademark forehand winner down the line, her eighth consecutive break of serve in the tie.
When Vismane held serve for 1-2, it was the first time that an opponent managed to hold against the Canadian No. 1 in the tie.
One hold was never going to be enough for the Latvian, as Fernandez continued to attack, holding serve with ease and breaking once more as she took the opening set in exactly half an hour.
The runaway train that was Fernandez kept rolling in the second set, once again breaking serve in the opening game to immediately take control.
It was not all smooth sailing in the second set, as the Canadian had to face a break point for the first time in the fourth game. But after riding her return all weekend, Fernandez’s serve stepped up and she saved it with a classic unreturnable lefty wide serve.
After saving the break point, it was back to business for Fernandez, who hit back-to-back return winners in the following game to stretch her lead to a double break at 4-1.
Fernandez capped off her dominant weekend in fitting fashion, with another break to seal the win. She spent a total of one hour and 53 minutes on court in two singles matches, 14 fewer minutes than the Vismane-Rebecca Marino match on Friday.
the tie decided, there will be no second singles match on Saturday. Instead, Gabriela Dabrowski and Carol Zhao will look to complete the sweep in the doubles.
Ending on a high note
Looking to complete the sweep for Canada, Gabriela Dabrowski and Carol Zhao channeled Fernandez’s great returning early in their doubles match, as they broke in their first two return games, racing out to a quick 5-0 lead, eventually taking the set 6-1.
After failing to close out a love-40 advantage in the opening game, the Canadians had to wait until midway through the set to get the break. At 3-all, Dabrowski put away a smash to give the Canadians a lead they would not relinquish.
That was the second of a four-game run from 2-3 down on serve that saw the Canadians doubles pair close out the 4-0 sweep on home soil.
The Billie Jean King Cup Finals will be played from November 8 to 13 at a yet-to-be-announced location.