Alex Eala, Russian partner clinch 2021 French Open girls doubles semis spot

Filipina teen tennis sensation Alex Eala repeated a French Open semifinal appearance, but this time in the doubles event with Russian partner Oksana Selekhmeteva on Thursday, June 10 in Paris, France.

Eala and Selekhmeteva defeated the pair of Serbia's Petra Marcinko and Natalia Szabanin of Hungary, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (5), in the girls doubles quarterfinals.

After the top-seeded pair outlasted the European duo in the neck-and-neck first set, Eala and Selekhmeteva went up 4-1 before their opponents rallied back to knot the score at 4-4.

The second set extended to another tiebreaker which saw the Filipino-Russian pair close out the victory with three straight games with the last one seeing Eala on the service line.

The 16-year-old Filipina suffered a shock exit in the first round of the singles event, while Selekhmeteva is still in contention for the singles crown as she nailed a semifinal berth on Thursday.

In 2020, Eala became the first Filipino in 35 years since Felix Barrientos to make a Grand Slam juniors singles semifinal appearance at Roland Garros.

She is on track of winning her second Grand Slam title since the 2020 Australian Open girls doubles tournament, where she raised the trophy with Indonesian Priska Nugroho. –

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.