Eala, Russian partner rule in Paris
Alex Eala of the Philippines (left) and Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia celebrate their victory in girls doubles.

Eala, Russian partner rule in Paris

John Bryan Ulanday (The Philippine Star) - June 13, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — As her country celebrated its Independence Day, Filipina tennis wunderkind Alex Eala captured her second juniors doubles Grand Slam crown, partnering with Russian ace Oksana Selekhmeteva in a perfect French Open conquest last night in Paris.

The Filipina-Russian duo completed the magical clay run without dropping a single set highlighted by a 6-0, 7-5 finale win against Russia’s Maria Bondarenko and Hungary’s Amarissa Kiara Toth in one hour, seven minutes.

“Sa lahat ng mga Pinoy na nanood, maraming salamat sa suporta. It’s Independence Day today so I hope that I pay my contribution to the country,” a proud Eala said.

Eala, the ITF Juniors No. 3, added the Roland Garros trophy to her growing juniors Grand Slam collection after also reigning supreme in the 2020 Australian Open with Indonesian Madelyn Nugroho.

Selekhmeteva, the world No. 10, also bagged her second juniors Grand Slam title after teaming up with Latvian Kamilla Bartone in their US Open win in 2019.

Eala and Selekhmeteva were eliminated in the first round and semifinals of the girls’ singles play, respectively. But they were not to be denied in the doubles play as the top-seeded tandem.

They swept past their counterparts in five rounds including a 6-2, 6-1 semis upset win over defending champions Lisa Pigato and Eleonora Alvisi of Italy.

In the finals, the Eala-Selekhmeteva pair broke serve that ignited a clean 6-0 shutout. They cooled down in the second, trailing at 2-4, before regaining their strokes with a 5-1 finishing kick to seal the deal.

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