Alex Eala reaches doubles semis but crashes out of singles in Slovakia

MANILA, Philippines — Alex Eala came up with a mixed bag of results in her matches in the W60 Trnava in Slovakia on Thursday as she advanced in doubles but was given the early boot in singles.

In her first match of the day, Eala stumbled against Great Britain’s Sonay Kartal, 6-2, 6-2.



Kartal dictated the pace in the opening set as she zoomed to a 5-1 lead. While Eala completed a love game to pull a game back, she couldn’t ride the momentum as Kartal held her serve in Game 8 to clinch the opening set.

The 17-year-old then began the second set optimistically when she outgunned Kartal in a back-and-forth Game 3 to take the 2-1 lead.




But that’s where Eala’s fortunes ended as she was blanked for the rest of the match, and Kartal took five straight games to complete the sweep.

Eala, though, was able to rebound when it came to her doubles match with Lithuanian parter Justina Mikulskyte.

Matched up against No. 4 seeds Vivian Heisen and Julia Lohoff, Eala and Mikulskyte dug deep to stymie their German foes in the opening set.

Eala and Mikulskyte took a 4-2 lead before Heisen and Lohoff staged a comeback to flip the script and seize a 5-4 advantage as they held their serve in Game 9.

But Eala and Mikulskyte held their serve right back and converted on a crucial break point in Game 11 to regain the lead, 6-5.

Buoyed by their gritty win in Set 1, Eala and Mikulskyte zoomed to a 5-3 advantage in Set 2. While their foes held their serve in Game 9 to pull one back, Eala and Mikulskyte served up a love game to complete the win in an hour and 27 minutes.

They thus face top seeds Alicia Barnett and Olivia Nicholis of Great Britain in the semifinal on Friday for a spot in the finals.

Eala and Mikulskyte are the only non-seeded bets left as the top three seeds of the doubles tournament all reached the semifinals.


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