Tennis: Alex Eala exits W60 Slovakia as doubles semifinalist

Rosy Mina

Posted at Mar 11 2023 04:41 AM

via Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP
Tennis player Alex Eala. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

MANILA – Alex Eala of the Philippines and Justina Mikulskyte of Lithuania ended their run at the W60 Trnava doubles event in Slovakia on Friday with a semifinal result versus the top seeds. 

Eala and Mikulskyte fell to WTA Doubles Top 80 aces Alicia Barnett and Olivia Nicholls of Great Britain, 4-6, 1-6, at the TC Empire indoor hard court.

The Filipino-Lithuanian pair saved a break point for a 3-1 lead courtesy of a Mikulskyte forehand shot, and the British No. 1 seeds fought back to 3-3 with a forehand down-the-line service return winner.

They reached 4-4 after an exchange of service breaks, then Barnett and Nicholls held serve to love for 5-4.

The Britons earned three set points in the next game, and they broke to take the first set, 6-4, by firing a forehand passing shot.

In the second set, Eala and Mikulskyte committed more errors that caused them to slump to 0-5.

The Filipino and Lithuanian finally got on the scoreboard, 1-5, after Eala let out an ace at 40-15.

As Barnett and Nicholls were serving for the match, they fended off three break points to book a spot in the final, 6-1.

The doubles campaign of Eala and Mikulskyte began with a 6-1, 6-0 ouster of Slovak wildcards Ela Platenikova and Nina Vargova.

They followed this up with a 7-5, 6-4 quarterfinal upset of German No. 4 seeds Vivian Heisen and Julia Lohoff.

The 17-year-old Eala, a junior doubles winner of the 2020 Australian Open and 2021 Roland Garros, has yet to clinch a professional doubles crown.

She and Russian Oksana Selekhmeteva, her French Open partner, were defeated on clay by Mikulskyte and Romanian Oana Georgeta Simion in the 2021 final of the W25 Platja D’Aro tournament in Spain. 

Meanwhile, in the W60 Trnava singles competition, Eala posted a 6-1, 6-0 win over Spanish sixth seed Leyre Romero Gormaz in the opening round before losing to British Sonay Kartal in the second round, 2-6, 2-6.

Eala, the WTA World No. 220, is a two-time ITF women’s singles champion at the 2021 W15 Manacor in Spain and 2022 W25 Chiang Rai in Thailand. 

She made history at the 2022 US Open in New York by becoming the first Filipino to win a junior singles grand slam title.


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