Champ again: Alex Eala claims 2nd career doubles title in France

Ariel Ian Clarito

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Champ again: Alex Eala claims 2nd career doubles title in France

EYES ON THE PRIZE. Alex Eala readies to return a shot in pro tour action.


Alex Eala and French partner Estelle Cascino capture the doubles crown in the ITF W75 Croissy-Beaubourg in France

MANILA, Philippines – Alex Eala capped off a week of in sync tennis with French partner Estelle Cascino, which saw the pair take out the top two seeds of the competition.

The unseeded Eala and Cascino thumped No. 1 seeds Jessika Ponchet of France and Maia Lumsden of Great Britain, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) on Saturday, March 30, to clinch the doubles title of the ITF W75 Open 3C de Seine et Marne in Croissy-Beaubourg, France. 

Doubles No. 305 Eala and No. 146 Cascino fended off wave after wave of rallies from Ponchet, a regular in the French Open doubles main draw, and Lumsden, a doubles quarterfinalist in last year’s Wimbledon and currently ranked 77th in the world. 

Eala and Cascino jumpstarted the match with an early service break to go up 3-0 before Ponchet and Lumsen showed they were no easy pickings, winning five of the next six games for a 5-4 lead.

But that proved to be their last turn at the driver’s seat, with Eala and Cascino shutting them out in the next three games to claim the first set. 

The second set ended up being closer.

From a 4-2 lead, Eala and Cascino found themselves trailing anew at 4-5. The duo managed to maintain their composure to eventually extend the set to a tiebreak.

From a 3-3 deadlock, Eala and Cascino surged ahead to 5-3, creating just enough separation to win the set and crown themselves champions.

The unseeded Eala and Cascino were on a tear all tournament long.

They opened their campaign with a thrilling come-from-behind win over the higher ranked Celine Naef of Switzerland and Prarthana Thombare of India, 5-7, 6-2, 10-6, and followed it up with a dominant 6-4, 6-0 quarterfinal triumph over second seeds Emily Appleton of Great Britain and Isabelle Haverlag of the Netherlands, 6-4, 6-0.

Eala and Cascino scored another straight-set victory in the semifinals over Kira Pavlova of Russia and Marie Weckerle of Luxembourg, 6-3, 6-3.

Just two months ago, Eala claimed her first doubles title in the pro tour when she and Darja Semenistaja of Latvia emerged champions in the ITF W50 Pune in India. –

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