2 for 2: Alex Eala serves up wins in India

Ariel Ian Clarito

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2 for 2: Alex Eala serves up wins in India

WINNING WAYS. Alex Eala goes for a backhand in singles action in the in the ITF W50 Pune in India.


Alex Eala says she’s ‘pushing for more’ after booking a singles quarterfinal berth and a doubles semifinal spot in the ITF W50 Pune in India

MANILA, Philippines – Two matches on the same day is no easy task. But for Alex Ealai, it’s all in a day’s work.

The 18-year-old teen tennis star notched victories in both her singles and doubles matches in the ITF W50 Pune on Thursday, January 25, at the Deccan Gymkhana in India.

“Through to my first quarterfinal of the year! Pushing for more in [India],” Eala posted on her social media page.

First taking the court late morning, Eala made sure not to tire herself and stay too long, defeating 24-year-old local bet Zeel Desai of India in just an hour and two minutes, 6-1, 6-2, in the second round of the singles competition.

Unlike in her opening-round singles match where she committed seven double faults, Eala only had one double fault this time. She dropped serve just once.

This was in the third game of the opening set when Desai broke serve to get on the scoreboard, 1-2. It turned out to be the only time the Indian scored as the fifth-seeded Eala breezed through the next four games to win the first set, 6-1.

The second set followed the same storyline, with the world No. 187 Eala jumping to a 4-0 lead. 

Desai managed to hold serve twice, but those were the only chances Eala gave her as the young Filipina closed out the set in the eighth game.

Also winning on Thursday was top seed Darja Semenestija of Latvia, whom Eala will face next in the quarterfinals. It will be an interesting round of eight encounter as Semenestija is Eala’s doubles partner.

The fourth seeds in the doubles event, Eala and the 21-year-old Semenestija returned to the court later in the day to prevail over Jessie Aney of the United States and Lena Papadakis of Germany, 6-4, 2-6, 10-4, to advance to the semifinals. 

Meanwhile, top seeds Francis Casey Alcantara and Christopher Rungkat of Indonesia ran into little resistance in the quarterfinals of the GNC-BR Adityan Memorial ITF Men’s Future to get past Orel Kimhi and Ofek Shimanov of Israel, 6-3, 6-2, at the Gandhi Nagar Club in Chennai, India.

Alcantara and Rungkat are now a win away from making their third straight finals as a tandem after winning two ITF titles together late last year in Malaysia. 

They will face unseeded Sandro Kopp and David Pichler of Austria in the semifinals. –

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