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Eala, Selekhmeteva book finals berth in 2021 French Open girls’ doubles tilt

FILIPINAtennis star and Globe ambassador Alex Eala and partner Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia are through to the finals of the 2021 French Open girls’ doubles tournament after posting a dominant 6-2, 6-1 straight sets win over the Italian tandem and defending champions Lisa Pigato and Eleonora Alvisi in the semifinals.

Alex and Oksana were never in trouble in the match as they booted out the reigning champions and continued their assault to the title without dropping a set in an impressive run throughout the tournament.

The 16-year-old Eala and 18-year-old Selekhmeteva scored the first point in the opening set before the defending champions got their bearings to tie the game at 2-2.  The top seeded pair, however, played solid in the next four frames and broke their opponents’ service twice to rack the next four games and win the set, 6-2.

The pair continued their hot streak in the second set, winning the first two games before encountering a minor bump in the third frame to allow the Italians to cut the deficit at 2-1.

It proved to be the defending champions’ last stand as Eala and Selekhmeteva won the next four games to win the set and the game at 6-1.

The win is another career milestone for Eala as she becomes the first Filipino tennis player to reach the finals of Roland Garros.

Another victory will give the Rafa Nadal Academy scholar and longtime Globe ambassador her second grand slam title to add to the 2020 Australian Open girls’ doubles title she won last with Indonesian partner Priska Nugroho.

Eala and Selekhmeteva will face the eighth seeded pair of Amarissa Kiara Toth of Hungary and Maria Bordadenko of Russia in the finals tonight.

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