Vancouver, British Columbia, April 16, 2022 — The Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers concluded on Saturday as Team Canada defeated Latvia 4-0 at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia. As a result, Canada punched their ticket to the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in November.
To kick off the final day of action, both teams’ top players – Leylah Annie Fernandez and Daniela Vismane – faced off against each other for the third point of the tie. Heading into the match, Canada led the Latvian team 2-0, meaning that Vismane had to upset Fernandez, the world No. 21, to keep their hopes alive. In the one-hour-long battle, Fernandez backed up her ranking and cruised past Vismane (No. 230) to seal the tie for Team Canada. Fernandez won 5/8 break points and turned away both break points she faced, eventually winning the contest 6-2, 6-1.
“The crowd did an amazing job, I’m very happy to be playing in front of them,” Fernandez said when asked about playing in Canada. “I’m glad that they came, I’m glad they cheered, and I’m glad to hear the ‘Go Canada Go’ and the ‘Go Leylah’s.’”
Since the third singles match was decisive, the last rubber of the tie was a doubles match. The Canadian duo of Gabriela Dabrowski and Carol Zhao took on the Latvian pair of Daniela Vismane and Darja Semenistaja. Feeding off the home crowd’s energy, the Canadian team soared to a 5-0 lead and eventually clinched the opening set 6-1. All the momentum was on the Canadian’s side of the court, and Dabrowski and Zhao rode that wave of momentum up to match point, claiming the doubles victory 6-1, 6-3.
“We have so much fun together,” Dabrowski said during her post-match conference. “We’re good friends off the court and I think that helps us play well together on the court too. We want to make each other proud, we want to make the team proud, and we want the crowd to see great doubles.”
The victory over Latvia means that Canada will compete in the Billie Jean King Cup Finals, at a to-be-determined location, in November.