ADD another championship to the growing collection of Filipina tennis superstar and Alex Eala.
This after she and partner Madison Seig claimed the title in the girls’ doubles class of the International Tennis Federation JA Milan with an exhilarating 6-4, 4-6, 13-11 victory over Croatia's Lucija Ciric Bagaric and Sofia Costoulas of Belgium at the Tennis Club Milano Alberto Bonacossa in Milan, Italy on late Saturday night (Philippine time).
The win, though, was a tough one for the 16-year old and her 18-year old American teammate as they encountered resistance at every turn from the Bagaric-Costoulas tandem. Up 3-0 in the first set, Bagaric and Costoulas came roaring back to tie the game at 4-4 before Eala and Sieg won two straight games to win the set, 6-4.
Their opponents equalized the match at 1-1 by taking the second set, 6-4. The decider was a closely-fought contest with neither duo giving the other an inch. Tied at 11-all in the neck-to-neck affiar, Eala and Sieg dug down deep and claimed the last two points to capture the set, the match and the title.
This latest doubles conquest is the fifth for the talented Filipina, who already has two grand slam doubles titles to her name, highlighted by the 2021 French Open girls’ doubles title that she won with Russian partner Oksana Selekhmeteva. She also claimed the 2020 Australian Open doubles championship with Indonesian netter Priska Madelyn Nugroho.
The work for Eala, though, is far from done as she is eying to make it twin titles in Milan when she takes on 15-year old Nikola Bartunkova of the Czech Republic for the singles title on Sunday afternoon. Eala earned a ticket to the finals after winning over Mirra Andreeva of Russia, 7-5, 6-2, in the semifinals.