FILIPINA tennis phenom Alex Eala and her Russian partner Oksana Selekhmeteva wavered in the doubles finals of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Tennis Tour W25 Platja D'Aro, and fell to the pair of Lithuanian Ustina Mikulskyte and Romanian Oana Georgeta Simion, 3-6, 5-7, on Saturday night in Spain.
The 15-year old Eala was aiming to make her 16th birthday on Sunday, May 23, extra special as she was bidding for her very first pro doubles crown. However, their seasoned opponents had other plans and zoomed in front, 5-1, in the first set. Eala and Selekhmeteva kept themselves within striking distance as they broke their opponent’s serve and held their own to pull to 3-5. However, Mikulskyte and Simion put Eala and Selekhmeteva’s to rest as they claimed the next game to secure the first set, 6-3.
The second set was played more evenly as the two duos played to a 5-5 draw until Mikulskyte and Simion broke Eala and Selekhmeteva’s serve to push forward, 6-5. Eala and her Russian partner fought valiantly to keep their hopes alive as they surged in front, 40-15, in the next game. However, Mikulskyte and Simion proved too skilled as they rallied to take the game, the second set and ultimately, the doubles championship.
In spite of the loss, Eala and Selekhmeteva could move forward with their heads held high following their valiant run in this tournament, highlighted by their gripping 6-3, 2-6, 12-10 quarterfinal win over the top seeded pair of Sofya Lansere and Vlada Koval of Russia.