Leylah Fernandez honoured for Billie Jean King Cup heroics

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The award is for gamers who’ve represented their nation with distinction, demonstrated distinctive braveness on the court docket and proven excellent dedication to their workforce.

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A pair of comeback wins in opposition to Serbia have earned  18-year-old Leylah Annie Fernandez the 2021 Billie Jean King Cup Play-Offs Coronary heart Award.

Enjoying as Canada’s No. 1 singles participant in Kraljevo final month, Fernandez produced two sturdy performances to beat Olga Danilovic 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 on Day 1 and Nina Stojanovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Day 2. Rebecca Marino received the opposite singles rubber and paired with compatriot Carol Zhao in doubles to seal the 4-0 sweep for a Canadian workforce led by Captain Heidi El Tabakh. The win moved Canada into the 2022 qualifying spherical for the ladies’s workforce occasion.

The Worldwide Tennis Federation chosen Fernandez over fellow nominees Katie Boulter of Nice Britain, Magdalena French of Poland and Elina Svitolina of Ukraine. The nominees have been chosen by a panel together with ITF President David Haggerty, tennis legend Billie Jean King, in addition to former gamers and members of the media. The winner of the award — which honours gamers who’ve represented their nation with distinction, demonstrated distinctive braveness on the court docket and proven excellent dedication to their workforce — was determined by a public vote.

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Fernandez — who was additionally a nominee in 2020 — obtained a cheque for $3,000 to donate to a charity of her alternative, and he or she selected Desk de sécurité alimentaire de Villeray meals financial institution.

“I’m honoured and so thrilled to win this 12 months’s Billie Jean King Cup Coronary heart Award,” stated Fernandez. “Thanks a lot to the followers who voted. It means the world to me to signify my nation and be a part of an unbelievable workforce. Congratulations to all the nominees. After such a difficult 12 months for all of us, it’s wonderful to be given the chance to have a good time kindness and pay it ahead. Thanks very a lot. Go Canada Go!”

Fernandez is again in Serbia this week for the WTA 250 occasion in Belgrade and he or she defeated Polona Hercog of Slovenia 7-5, 6-1  within the first spherical Monday.

phickey@postmedia.com

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