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    Alex Eala, Russian partner advance to Spain 25K finals

    May 22, 2021
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    PHOTO: Courtesy of Rafa Nadal Academy

    TEEN tennis sensation Alex Eala and Russian partner Oksana Selekhmeteva defeated Isabelle Haverlag and Suzan Lamens of Netherlands in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1, to secure their spot in the finals of the W25 Platja D’ Aro in Spain on Saturday morning (Manila time).

    Eala and Selekhmeteva rallied from two points down at the start to tie the game at 2-2. Eala, only on her first-ever doubles pro tournament, pulled off a backhand that gave them the lead at 3-2, before they successfully limited the Dutch duo to just three points to secure the first set, 6-3.

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    The fun continued in the following set, as Eala, 15, and Selekhmeteva, 18, were able to sustain their winning momentum and lead at 5-0. The duo held their foes off to just a single point in the finisher, wrapping up a match that lasted only 56 minutes.

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    Eala and Selekhmeteva will next face 25-year-olds Oana Georgeta Simion of Romania, WTA no. 416, and Justina Mikulskyte of Lithuania, WTA no. 445, in the title match on Saturday night (Manila time).

    The Filipina-Russian pair both have their respective juniors grand slam titles (2020 Australian Open for Eala, and 2019 US Open for Selekhmeteva). Eala, the juniors world no. 3, is currently at WTA no. 660 with one singles pro title from the first leg of the W15 Manacor last January. Meanwhile, Selekhmeteva is at WTA no. 528, and 10th in the juniors.

    In their head-to-head record, the Russian has beaten the Filipina once in the third leg of W15 Manacor.

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    But they definitely make a promising pair.

    In the quarterfinals, they survived tournament top seeds Russian pair of Sofya Lansere and Vlada Koval, 6-3, 2-6, 12-10 to move to the semis.

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    File photo
    PHOTO: Courtesy of Rafa Nadal Academy
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