Alex Eala reached her first-ever semifinals in the professional ranks in doubles after she and Russian partner Oksana Selekhmeteva stunned the top-seeded pair of Sofya Lansere and Vlada Koval in three sets, 6-3, 2-6, 12-10, in the W25 Platja D’Aro tournament, Friday morning (Manila time).
This is another milestone in the young career of the 15-year- oldEala following her win of the W15 Manacor first leg in singles on just her pro debut.
It was not at all easy, however, as the match took a solid hour and 15 minutes and went tight in the decider.
The Filipino-Russian duo had to take the last three points to complete the upset as Lansere and Koval went into match point at 10-9 in the third set super tiebreak.
Eala and Selekhmeteva actually led to start the deciding frame at 6-2 following a five-point run, but the top seeds cut the deficit to one at 5-6 and then took over later to get to the said match point.
The winners took their advantage on the serve in the third set after Eala and Selekhmetva combined for an impressive 73-percent on first serves and a huge 100% on the second tries.
The win made amends for Eala’s defeat just a few hours ago in the singles R16.
The Filipino struggled throughout the match and it was evident in her service games and her errors, eventually taking an exit with a 2-6, 4-6 loss to Spain’s Irene Burillo Escorihuela.
Nonetheless, the 2020 Australian Open juniors champion stays in the competition as she and Selekhmeteva take on Dutch pair Suzan Lamens and Isabelle Haverlag on Friday for a place in the final.