Alex Eala barges into quarters of US Open Juniors Singles and Doubles

Alex Eala

Alex Eala bucked an opening-set stumble and outplayed Michaela Laki of Greece, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, to barge into the quarterfinals of the US Open Girls Singles Wednesday (early Thursday in Manila).

The second-seeded Eala had to dig deep in the last two sets against the resilient Laki to arrange a Final 8 meeting with Switzerlands’ Sebastianna Scilipoti, a 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5) winner over Belgium’s Sofia Costoulas.

The win already eclipsed Eala’s second-round finish in the 2019 US Open Juniors, where she had to go through two qualifying matches first before reaching the main draw.

Eala found her rhythm late in the second set, where she rose from a 5-4 deficit by winning the next three games to extend the match into a decider.

Both players held their serves early in the third frame, until Eala broke Laki’s serve in the sixth game to take the momentum en route to the match win.

Overall, Eala overcame eight double faults and 30 unforced errors to keep her Grand Slam bid alive.

Eala and Belgian partner Hanne Vandewinkel also advanced to the Girls Doubles quarterfinals after surviving Laki and Slovakia’s Radka Zelnickova, 6-3, 3-6, 10-6.

The win set up the sixth-seeded Filipino-Belgian pair a meeting with American’s Elizabeth Coleman and Madison Sieg, who stunned fourth seed Petra Marcinko of Croatia and Natalia Szabanin of Hungary, 6-4, 6-4.