DESPITE an early singles exit, Alex Eala powered through with a solid comeback in doubles.
The top-seeded pair of Filipina and Russian Oksana Selekhmeteva proceeded to the second round, thrashing Evialina Laskevich of Belarus and Alina Shcherbinina of Russia, 6-4, 6-4, in the Roland Garros French Open Girls’ Doubles opener on Tuesday morning (Philippine time).
Trailing with a 1-3 deficit early in the first set, Eala, 16, and Selekhmeteva, 18, made a crucial break to lead at 5-4 in the ninth game, before they successfully held their serve to take the set and establish their pace.
Sustaining their momentum coming into the next set, the W25 Platja D’Aro finalists led at 3-0 until Laskevich and Shcherbinina scored via a break of a serve, 3-1.
The Filipina and Russian pair continued to dominate, leading at 5-3, until Eala committed a double fault closing the gap to 5-4 with their opponents trailing.
They, however, fought off a late challenge and won the second set, saving a break point in the tenth and final game, 6-4.
Selekhmeteva, juniors world no. 10, and Eala, juniors world no. 3, will next face duo Sofia Costoulas from Belgium and Laura Hietaranta of Finland in the round of 16 on Wednesday.
Both Eala and Selekhmeteva have Girls’ Doubles Grand Slam titles under their belts: 2020 Australian Open for Eala and 2019 US Open for Selekhmeteva.
Earlier in the day, Eala fell short to Matilda Mutavdzic of Great Britain in a three-setter match 4-6, 7-6(4), 1-6.