October 23, 2021

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Canada leads Serbia 2-0 after Day 1 of BJK Cup playoff tie

Fernandez

Fernandez vs. Olga Danilovic in the win over Serbia in April Billie Jean King Fed Cup action (Sportsnet.ca)

If Canada was missing its No. 1 and No. 3 for this weekend’s Billie Jean King Cup playoff tie against Serbia, the No. 2 and No. 4 singles players in the country erased the concerns about their absence in a big hurry Friday in Kraljevo, Serbia.

As 18-year-old Leylah Fernandez took on the leadership role in playing No. 1 singles, she also had to play the tie opener. That’s always good for a few butterflies.

But Fernandez got the job done against feisty Serbian lefty Olga Danilovic. Her 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 win put Canada on the board with a win.

She was not, however, happy with how she played, even if she was pleased with being able to pull it through.

Danilovic, just 20, was happy with her play – but disappointed in the outcome.

Rebecca Marino makes it 2-0 for Canada

After Fernandez, Rebecca Marino took the court and had to square off against the Serbian No. 1, Nina Stojanovic.

The medium-speed hard court appears to be a perfect fit with her aggressive game. And on the strength of 10 aces and 15 forehand winners, Marino converted on her fourth match point and won 6-4, 7-6 (6).

That gave Canada a 2-0 lead, with the reverse singles set for Saturday (beginning at 5 a.m. EDT).

Here’s Canadian captain Heidi El Tabakh on the first day’s results.

If Canada’s Fernandez beats Stojanovic in the battle of No. 1s, they would skip the second serve singles and then play the doubles to close it out.