PH’s Alex Eala, partner capture Australian Open girls doubles title
Alex Eala and partner Priska Nugroho of Indonesia handily disposed of Ziva Falkner of Slovenia and Matilda Mutavdzic of Great Britain, 6-1, 6-2, Friday to claim the Australian Open girls doubles championships.
Eala, 14, became the first Filipino to win the Australian Open, or any Grand Slam event, since 2009 when Francis Casey Alcantara and Hsieh Chen-peng of Chinese Taipei won the Australian Open boys doubles.
It was an overpowering display for Eala and Nugroho, the fourth seeds who barrelled into the finals by toppling No. 1 seeds Kamilla Bartone of Latvia and Linda Fruvirtova of Czech Republic (1-6, 7-5, 10-8) in the semifinals.
They bundled out French pair Aubane Droguet and Selena Janicijevic (7-6 (2), 6-2) in the quarterfinals.
On the way there, Eala and Nugroho also defeated French Julie Belgraver and Slovenian Pia Lovric (6-2, 4-6, 11-9) in the second round and Elina Avanesyan of Russia and Liubov Kostenko of Ukraine in the first round.
Eala, a scholar of the Rafael Nadal Academy, is currently ranked No. 9 in the world.