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    Despite singles upset, Alex Eala marches into doubles semis with Russian partner

    May 21, 2021
    PHOTO: Rafa Nadal Academy
    PHOTO: Rafa Nadal Academy

    SHE MAY have fallen short in the singles main draw, but Alex Eala’s doubles stint is still firing on all cylinders in the W25 Platja D’Aro in Spain.

    The Filipina teen ace and partner Russian Oksana Selekhmeteva conquered tournament top seed Russian pair Sofya Lansere and Vlada Koval, 6-3, 2-6, 12-10, in the doubles quarterfinals in Friday morning (Manila Time).

    Eala, 15, and Selekhmeteva, 18, started off strong, leading 5-1 and able to sustain all throughout the first set.

    On the next set, though, Lansere, WTA no. 239, and Koval, WTA no. 351, held them off with a 5-0 advantage and limited the Fil-Russian duo to just two points to force a decider.

    The final set saw a grueling 10-point match deuce with the advantage of Eala and Selekhmeteva, who later on took over at 12-10 to seal the win over the top-seeded duo.

    Both Alex and Oksana have respected juniors grand slam titles under their belt. Eala, WTA no. 660, is a 2020 Australian Open champ, while Selekhmeteva holds a 2019 US Open title.

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    Moving to the semifinals, they will next face Dutch pair of Suzan Lamens and Isabelle Haverlag on Friday night, 11:30 PM (Manila time).

    Meanwhile, on the same day, the 15-year-old Filipina suffered a loss in the second round of the singles main draw after falling short to homebet Irene Burillo Escorihuela, 2-6, 4-6, due to her service errors.

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    Eala recorded nine double faults in a match that lasted 1 hour and 40 minutes.

    In a heartfelt Facebook post, the teen sensation shared her brave and tireless journey in the ITF $25,000, which is already her tenth tournament this year.

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    “Long day today with a singles and a doubles match here at the ITF W25 Platja D’aro. Not too lucky with my singles match today but I play semi finals in doubles tomorrow. Grateful smile...everyday. HAPPY #kindnesswinsday,” she said.

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    PHOTO: Rafa Nadal Academy
    PHOTO: Rafa Nadal Academy
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