Alex Eala, Russian partner win French Open Girls Doubles crown

Published June 12, 2021, 7:30 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Photo from Roland Garros Twitter account

Alex Eala and Russia’s Oksana Selekhmeteva captured the Roland Garros Girls Doubles crown on Saturday after edging Maria Bondarenko of Russia and Amarissa Toth of Hungary, 6-0, 7-5.

The top-seeded Eala and Selekhmeteva needed a little over an hour in besting their eighth-ranked rivals for their respective second Grand Slam Junior crowns.

Eala clinched her first Grand Slam Junior title at the 2020 Australian Open with Girls Doubles player Priskya Nugroho, while Selekhmeteva won her first Grand Slam Juniors at the 2019 US Open with Latvia’s Kamilla Bartone.

“Sa mga Pinoy na nanuod, maraming salamat sa suporta. It’s actually the Independence Day today so I hope that I made my contribution to my country,” Eala said during the awarding ceremony.

After cruising in the opening set, Eala and Selekhmeteva encountered stiff competition in the second frame when Bondarenko and Toth took 3-1 and 4-2 leads. But Eala and Selekhmeteva refused to be intimidated by winning the next three games to regain the momentum at 5-4.

Bondarenko and Toth broke the Filipino-Russian pair’s serve to tie the match at 5-5, but it proved to be their last stand as Eala and Selekhmeteva dominated the next two games for the title victory.

Eala and Selekhmeteva never dropped a set throughout the tournament with victories over Belarus’ Evialina Laskevic and Russia’s Alina Shcherbinina, 6-4, 6-4; Belgium’s Sofia Costoulas and Finland’s Laura Hietaranta, 6-3, 6-1; Coratia’s Petra Marcinko and Hungary’s Natalia Szabanin, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (5); and Italian duo Eleonor Alvisi and Lisa Pigato, 6-2, 6-1.