Alex Eala advances in French Open girls' doubles

Filipina Alex Eala redeemed herself from her early French Open girls' singles exit as she reached the second round of the girls' doubles tournament in Paris on Monday, June 7.

Eala and Russian partner Oksana Selekhmeteva swept Belasurian Evialina Laskevich and Russian Alina Shcherbinina, 6-4, 6-4, in their first-round encounter to advance.

The duo of Eala and Selekhmeteva overcame a 1-3 deficit in the opening set and averted a collapse in the second set to set up a second-round clash with Belgian Sofia Costoulas and Finnish Laura Hietaranta.

Down 1-5 in the second set, Laskevich and Shcherbinina threatened a comeback after trimming their deficit to 4-5 as the 16-year-old Eala committed errors in the eighth and ninth games.

But Eala – at match point in the 10th game – bounced back and delivered the volley winner that punched their ticket to the second round.

In the first set, Laskevich and Shcherbinina seized a 1-3 lead but they failed to sustain their hot start as Eala and Selekhmeteva won the next three games to gain the upper hand.

Eala nailed the forehand winner that gave them a 4-3 lead in the first set.

Selekhmeteva and Eala will face Costoulas and Hietaranta for a quarterfinals berth on Tuesday, June 8.

Eala is gunning for her second Grand Slam juniors doubles title after ruling the Australian Open girls' doubles tournament last year with Indonesian Priska Nugroho. –

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.