The Philippines’ tennis ace Alexandra “Alex” Eala has just won her first French Open Girls’ Doubles Championship with partner Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia, raising the nation’s flag in Paris on the 123rd anniversary of Philippine Independence Day.
The 16-year-old champion made good on her promise to the Filipino nation to do well in the tournament even after bowing out of the singles’ campaign and delivered a performance that has again made history for Philippine sports. This is the first time a Filipino has won the French Open championship.
The No. 1-seed Filipino-Russian tandem of Alex Eala and Oksana Selekhmeteva displayed dominance over the 8th-seed pair of Russian Maria Bondarenko and Amarissa Kiara Toth of Hungary, striking down their opponents, 6-0, 7-5, in their finals match on June 12, 2021.
Eala and Selekhmeteva showed exactly why they were the top-seed pair as they limited their opponents to a 6-to-nothing run in the first set that lasted only 20 minutes.
The two pairs traded leads in the second set but the Filipino-Russian partnership eventually powered through the last two games to earn the 2021 Roland-Garros Juniors Championship title.
The duo earlier ousted the 2020 champions from Italy, Eleonora Alvisi and Lisa Pigato, in the semifinals.
The teen tennis champions have been displaying their dominance in the Girls’ Doubles tournament, fending off the aggressive challenge of No. 5 seeds Petra Marcinko of Croatia and Natalia Szabanin of Hungary in the quarterfinals, dominating Sofia Costoulas of Belgium and Laura Hietaranta of Finland in their Round 2 match, and sweeping Evialina Laskevich of Belarus and Alina Shcherbinina of Russia in the Round 1 opener.
The French Open championship is the first for the Filipino-Russian duo since their silver finish at the W25 Platja D’Aro meet in Spain last May.
The new crown is Eala’s second Grand Slam Junior Doubles tournament title following her 2020 win of the Australian Open Girls’ Doubles with Indonesian partner Priska Nugroho with whom she had a 5-championships winning streak at the Young Stars Tournaments in Europe.
The Filipino athlete previously made a historic semifinals appearance at the French Open Girls’ Singles in her tournament debut in 2020.
International Tennis Federation (ITF) Juniors World No. 3 Alex Eala spoke Filipino in a post-game interview, dedicating her win at the French Open to the Filipino nation on the Philippines’ Independence Day.
“At sa lahat ng mga Pinoy na nanonood, salamat sa pagsusuporta. It’s actually the Independence Day today. I hope I made my contribution to the country!” said Eala.
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