After clinching two quarterfinals berths in a single day, Eala guns for another US Open twin kill | Inquirer Sports
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SEEING DOUBLE

After clinching two quarterfinals berths in a single day, Eala guns for another US Open twin kill

/ 05:25 AM September 10, 2021

Alex Eala works her way to twin quarterfinal berths in the US Open juniors competitions. —KEATS LONDON

Whatever happens Friday morning, Alex Eala has come up with a day to remember in the US Open late Wednesday.

Flashing her steely nerves to offset a somewhat shaky serve, the Filipino ace needed one day to clinch quarterfinal berths in two events at Flushing Meadows: the girls’ singles and doubles contests.

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And the 16-year-old scholar of Rafael Nadal Academy is gunning for yet another double.

As of press time, she was battling Sebastianna Scilipoti in pursuit of a second trip to a Grand Slam singles semifinals.Later in the same day, she and Hanne Vandewinkel of Belgium would take on Americans Elizabeth Coleman and Madison Sieg for a place in doubles final four.

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Showing the fight that characterizes her game, Eala fought through a set down and a 5-4 deficit in the second set to defeat Greece’s Michaela Laki, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, in a match that created excitement for those who showed up to watch.

Eala committed more double faults (8-6) and had fewer winners (28-30) than Laki, but made up for it by committing fewer unforced errors (30-33) in the tense match.

Short rest

The Filipino second seed then took just a few hours of rest before teaming up with Vandewinkel and disposing of Laki and Slovakian Radka Zelnickova, 6-3, 3-6 (10-6).

Just like Eala, Scilipoti is already competing in the women’s circuit with a No. 726 ranking. She showed her own form of grit in eliminating Belgium’s Sofia Costoulas, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (6).

The 18-year-old Scilipoti is making the most of her last foray in the juniors and poses a challenge for Eala, the world No. 2 in girls and No. 513 in women’s.

Eala and Vandewinkel, seeded sixth, will take on Coleman-Sieg, who booted out Petra Marcinko of Croatia and Natalia Szabanin of Hungary, 6-4, 6-4.

Eala’s best finish in singles Grand Slam was a seminal stint in the 2020 French Open.

But she’s looking for her third Grand Slams doubles crown following her success in the 2020 Australian Open with Priska Nugroho of Indonesia, and the 2021 French Open with Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia.

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TAGS: Alex Eala, Tennis, US Open
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