Alex Eala bursts into Milan tournament singles final
MANILA, Philippines – Alex Eala crushed a young Russian prodigy on Saturday and stepped through the door to his first junior tournament title in two years.
Playing with more stable serve compared to recent matches, Eala scored a 7-5, 6-2 triumph over Mirra Andreeva to advance to the Trofeo Bonfiglio final in Milan, Italy.
The best 16-year-old Filipino tennis player will qualify for the category A championship on Sunday against the Czech Nikola Bartunkova or the American Clervie Ngounoue who were still playing in the other semi-finals.
Eala and her American partner Madison Sieg were to compete for the doubles crown against Croatian Lucija Ciric Bagaric and Belgian Sofia Costoulas.
Unlike her previous games, Eala was more determined against 14-year-old Andreeva, who has had three ITF titles under her belt and surprised a third seed on her way to the semi-finals.
Eala quickly set the tone with a key break in Game 8 of the first for a 5-3 lead. This put the world No.102 on the defensive for most of the hour and 15 minute game.
Andreeva, who beat Czech third seed Brenda Fruhvirtova in the second round, still managed to pull back and hold, but it was clear that Eala got her number from that point on.
On Russian serve, Eala ran 15-30 but still needed two match points before closing the deal.
The last time Eala won a junior title was in 2019 JA in Cape Town.
Aside from her campaign on the women’s circuit where she is ranked 630th, Eala has focused more on the grand slams, especially after reaching the semi-finals at Roland Garros 2020.
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