Alex Eala crushed a young Russian prodigy on Saturday and stepped right up the doorstep of her first juniors tournament title in two years.
Playing with a steadier service compared to the past few matches, Eala scored a 7-5, 6-2 triumph over Mirra Andreeva to make the finals of the Trofeo Bonfiglio in Milan, Italy.
The 16-year-old top Filipino tennis player will gun for the Grade A championship on Sunday against either Czech Republic’s Nikola Bartunkova or American Clervie Ngounoue who were still playing in the other semifinal match.
Eala and American partner Madison Sieg were also set to dispute the doubles crown against Croatia’s Lucija Ciric Bagaric and Belgium’s Sofia Costoulas.
Unlike in her previous matches, Eala was more resolute against the 14-year-old Andreeva, who already has three International Tennis Federation titles under her belt and stunned a third-seed on her way to the semifinals.
Eala quickly dictated the tone with a key break in the eighth game of the first for a 5-3 lead. That put the World No. 102 on the defensive most of the one hour and 15 minutes match. INQ
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