Filipina teen tennis sensation Alex Eala fell to Sebastiana Scilipoti of Switzerland in the 2021 US Open girls singles tournament on Thursday, September 9 (Friday, September 10, Philippine time), at Court 13 of the USTA Billie Jean King Center in New York.
Scilipoti swept Eala, 7-5, 6-3, in the girls singles quarterfinal, denying the junior world No. 2 of a maiden semifinal berth at the Flushing Meadows.
Eala, though, is still in the running for her third Grand Slam title as she is set to compete in the girls doubles quarterfinal with Belgian partner Hanne Vandewinkel on Friday (Saturday, September 11, Philippine time).
Scilipoti started strong from the get-go, going up 3-1 in the opening set, but Eala rallied to knot the score at 3-3. After trading blows, the Swiss broke serve to go up 6-5 then held serve to take the first set.
The Filipina continued to struggle against her 18-year-old foe in the second set, but still challenged Scilipoti by equalizing at 3-3.
However, Scilipoti found her momentum with a break point and scored back-to-back games to seal a semifinal berth.
Eala is seeing action at Flushing Meadows for the first time since 2019 as organizers canceled the 2020 juniors tournament over coronavirus fears.
The Rafael Nadal Academy scholar is aiming for her third Grand Slam title after her 2021 French Open juniors doubles conquest with Russian partner Oksana Selekhmeteva.
Eala won her first Grand Slam title in the 2020 Australian Open juniors tournament where she paired up with Indonesian Priska Nugroho to capture the girls doubles title.
She already nailed many career milestones this year, including her first professional title last January and closing in on the top 500 in the Women’s Tennis Association rankings. – Rappler.com