Eala, partner enter semis
Alex Eala
Twitter/Rafael Nadal Academ

Eala, partner enter semis

John Bryan Ulanday (The Philippine Star) - June 12, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Filipina teen star Alex Eala has reached the French Open Final Four anew, this time in the girls’ doubles event after she and Russian partner Oksana Selekhmeteva fashioned out a 7-6 (7), 7-6 (5) victory over Croatia’s Petra Marcinko and Hungary’s Natalia Szabanin Thursday in Paris.

Flaunting great chemistry and unbending composure, the top-seeded duo clawed back from similar 5-6 deficits in two sets to cap off a hard-earned quarterfinal win by tiebreakers in almost two hours.

The feisty win kept Eala and Selekhmeteva perfect in three rounds so far after scoring sweep victories against Belarus’ Evialina Laskevich and Russia’s Alina Shcherbinina then over Belgium’s Sofia Costoulas and Finland’s Laura Hietaranta.

The Filipina-Russian tandem was to shoot for a finals seat against the Italian pair of Lisa Pigato and Eleonora Alvisi last night.

A win would move Eala and Selekhmeteva closer to capturing their second juniors doubles grand slam title after ruling the 2020 Australian Open and 2019 US Open with different partners, respectively.

The duo came off a runner-up finish in the W25 Platja D’Aro women’s doubles in Spain last month.

Eala, the ITF Juniors No. 3, also reached the semifinals of the French Open last year albeit in the girls’ singles play, which she failed to duplicate this time after quick first-round elimination against No. 19 Matilda Mutavdzic of Great Britain.

The No. 10 Selekhmeteva, meanwhile, has qualified in the girls’ singles semis with a 6-3, 6-1 quarterfinal win over Germany’s Mara Guth.

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