Tennis: Alex Eala clinches doubles crown, to play singles final in Milan juniors

Rosy Mina

Posted at Jul 17 2021 10:29 PM

MANILA — No. 1 seeds Alex Eala of the Philippines and Madison Sieg of the United States bagged the girls’ doubles championship of the JA Milan tournament 61° Trofeo Bonfiglio after outlasting Sofia Costoulas of Belgium and Lucija Ciric Bagaric of Croatia, 6-4, 4-6, 13-11, Saturday in Italy.

This is the fifth girls’ doubles title for juniors No. 3 Eala, who won the 2021 Roland Garros girls’ doubles championship with Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia and 2020 Australian Open girls’ doubles crown with Priska Madelyn Nugroho of Indonesia.

In 2019, the Filipino claimed the JA Plantation girls’ double title with Evialina Laskevich of Belarus and in 2018, she secured her first girls’ doubles crown at the I Trofeo David Ferrer tournament with Joelle Lilly Sophie Steur of Germany.

En route to the final, the top-seeded Filipino and American tandem overcame Stefania Bojica of Romania and Matilde Jorge of Portugal in the first round, 6-2, 6-1, and Anastasiia Gureva and Ekaterina Maklakova of Russia in the second round, 6-3, 3-6, 10-7.

They went on to defeat two more Russian pairs: Ksenia Zaytseva and Yaroslava Bartashevich in the quarterfinals, 6-4, 6-3, and No. 5 seeds Kira Pavlova and Diana Shnaider, 6-3, 6-4, in the semifinals.

Prior to Eala and Sieg’s championship victory on Court 9 of Tennis Club Milano Alberto Bonacossa, the Filipino ace triumphed in her semifinal match at Campo Tribuna, where she got past 14-year-old Mirra Andreeva of Russia, 7-5, 6-2.

In the final hurdle, Eala will face No. 16 seed Nikola Bartunkova of Czech Republic in a quest to score a singles-doubles title sweep in the historic Milan tournament founded in 1959. 

Eala kicked off her run at the Grade A juniors tilt with easy wins over Brenda Fruhvirtova of Czech Republic in the first round, 6-1, 6-2, and Kayla Cross of Canada in the second round, 6-1, 6-1.

She then eked out hard fought victories over No. 13 seed Ksenia Zaytseva of Russia in the third round, 7-6(3), 4-6, 7-5, and No. 6 seed Sofia Costoulas of Belgium in the quarterfinals, 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4. 

The current WTA World No. 630 has three junior singles titles and one professional championship, which she clinched in January at the W15 Manacor tournament in Mallorca, Spain.

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