Alex Eala, French partner clinch ITF W75 Croissy-Beaubourg doubles semifinals

Ariel Ian Clarito

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Alex Eala, French partner clinch ITF W75 Croissy-Beaubourg doubles semifinals

SPEED. Philippine tennis standout Alex Eala races to return a shot.

Engie Open Nantes Atlantique

Alex Eala and France home bet Estelle Cascino put together a stunning sweep of their high-seeded, more experienced foes on the way to a semifinal berth in the ITF W75 Open 3C de Seine et Marne

MANILA, Philippines – Alex Eala and hometown bet Estelle Cascino played beautiful music together, resulting in a 6-4, 6-0 trashing of second seeds Emily Appleton of Great Britain and Isabelle Haverlag of the Netherlands on Thursday, March 28 (Friday, March 29, Manila time), in the doubles quarterfinals of the ITF W75 Open 3C de Seine et Marne in Croissy-Beaubourg, France.

Despite their opponents’ sterling credentials, the 18-year-old Eala and the 28-year-old Cascino were hardly fazed as they jumped the gun on their foes and raced to a 3-0 advantage in the opening set.

Eala, 305th in the world in doubles, and Cascino, ranked 146th, were tagged the clear underdogs against Appleton who is 126th in the world and Haverlag, ranked 152nd.

Appleton is also coming off a doubles title in the ITF W75 Grenoble in France in February, while Haverlag won the ITF W75 Trnava women’s doubles championship in Slovakia last March 9.

Still, Eala and Cascino kept the second seeds at bay by maintaining a three-game lead at 4-1, then Appleton and Haverlag started to heat up and scored their first break of the match that enabled them to level at 4-4.

But Eala and Cascino maintained their composure and regained control of the match by sealing the next two games to gain a one set upper hand.

The second set was total annihilation.

Eala and Cascino broke their fancied opponents three times and never faced break point the entire set. The match was all over in just 57 minutes, allowing Eala and Cascino’s entry into the semifinals where they will be pitted against fellow unseeded pair Kira Pavlova of Russia and Marie Weckerle of Luxembourg.

The 19-year-old Pavlova is 517th in the world in doubles while Weckerle is 355th.

The duo, however, did manage to pull an upset of their own when they downed third seeds Valentini Grammatikopoulou of Greece and Elena Pridankina of Russia in the quarterfinals. –

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