Eala eyes singles crown in Milan

John Bryan Ulanday - The Philippine Star
Eala eyes singles crown in Milan
Alex Eala
Julien Crosnier / FFT

MANILA, Philippines — Filipina tennis ace Alex Eala rolled to the finals of the JA Milan girls’ singles play, hacking out a 7-5, 6-2 win over Russia’s Mirra Andreeva last night in Italy.

The world juniors No. 3 earned the big win in 83 minutes and set up a title match today against either Czech Republic’s Nikola Bartunkova or Clervie Ngounoue of the United States.

Eala, the No. 1 seed in Milan, bested Czech Republic’s Brenda Fruhvirtova, Canada’s Kayla Cross and Russian Ksenia Zaytseva in the first three stages before scoring a 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4 quarterfinal win over Belgium’s Sofia Costoulas.

In doubles play, Eala and American partner Madison Sieg also advanced to the final with a 6-3, 6-4 semis win over the Russian pair of Kira Pavlova and Diana Shnaider early Friday morning.

The top-seeded duo was to play Croatia’s Lucija Ciric Bagaric and Belgium’s Costoulas for the Milan crown late last night.

Eala and Sieg dispatched Russia’s Anastasiia Gureva and Ekaterina Maklakova, Romania’s Stefania Bojica and Portugal’s Matilde Jorge, and another Russian duo of Yaroslava Bartashevich and Ksenia Zaytseva in the first three rounds.

A win for Eala would push her collection to eight or nine juniors titles including two Grand Slams after capturing the 2020 Australian Open and 2021 French Open doubles titles.

It would also serve as redemption for the 16-year-old rising star after early exits in both the singles and doubles of the Wimbledon juniors in London last week.

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