MANILA, Philippines — Alex Eala marched into her first US Open girls’ singles semifinals on Friday, capitalizing on doubles partner Mirra Andreeva’s wrist injury in carving out a 6-4, 6-0 victory at Billie Jean King Center in New York.
Though it wasn’t clear at what stage in the match Andreeva got injured, the 17-year-old Filipino actually won the last four games of the first set before blanking the Russian in the next, setting up a final four clash with Canada’s Victoria Mboko, a 7-5, 2-6, 7-5 winner over Switzerland’s Celine Naef.
So bad was Andreeva’s injury that her team with Eala was forced to hand over its second round match with the German pair of Carolina Kuhl and Ella Siedel in the doubles.
“Big match today. Thank you to everyone who showed their support. Hope you get well soon (Mirra Andreeva),” Eala posted on Instagram.
Eala was shooting to win a third doubles grand slam title.
She will be facing Mboko, a right-hander who is ranked 216 rungs lower at 513.
The Filipino prodigy, who played in the pros for the past seven months, is eyeing her first grand slam title in the juniors division.Eala beat Canadian Annabelle Xu and Aussie Taylah Preston in the first two rounds before eliminating Andreeva, who upset No. 1 seed Sofia Costoulas on her way to the quarterfinals.
The Rafael Nadal Academy scholar enjoyed the atmosphere during her quarterfinal match, posting a photo with her Filipino fans.
Her doubles campaign ended up with just one win after beating Americans Shannon Lam and Iva Jovic, 6-2, 6-2, to reach the Round of 16.