Successful foray for Filipino Alex Eala in Milan tournament

FILIPINO tennis ace Alex Eala capped a successful foray at the 61st Trofeo Bonfiglio tournament in Milan, Italy, by adding the girls’ singles title on Sunday to the doubles championship she won earlier. — ALEX EALA FB PAGE

FILIPINO tennis ace Alex Eala capped a successful foray at the 61st Trofeo Bonfiglio tournament in Milan, Italy, by adding the girls’ singles title on Sunday (Manila time) to the doubles championship she won the previous day.

Rafa Nadal Academy scholar Eala, 16, defeated Czech Republic’s Nikola Bartunkova in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, in the finals of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior grade A tournament.

It was in follow-up to her doubles conquest along with American partner Madison Sieg on Saturday, where they edged the tandem of Lucija Ciric Bagaric of Croatia and Sofia Costoulas of Belgium in three thrilling sets.

Ms. Eala was in her element in the singles finals, never allowing her opponent to gain much traction in the contest.

She raced to a 5-1 lead in the opening set and was not threatened thereafter for the 1-0 lead in the match.

The second set took the same route with Ms. Eala creating a considerable separation, 4-1, early on.

Ms. Bartunkova tried to rally back, but it was rendered limited as Ms. Eala took advantage of the opportunities she got to close out the proceedings to book the win and the title.

Globe ambassador Eala had it impressive in her run to the singles title.

She breezed through the first two rounds with straight-set victories over Brenda Fruhvirtova of Czech Republic and Kayla Cross of Canada in that order.

In the third round and quarterfinals, Ms. Eala was tested by Ksenia Zaytseva of Russia and Ms. Costoulas, respectively, taking her to the full route of three sets each time but came out triumphant.

Russian Mirra Andreeva stood in her way in the semifinals, but there was no stopping the Filipino bet, winning in straight sets, 7-5, 6-2.

The title was the second for Ms. Eala in the ITF this year after the W15 Manacor tournament in Spain in January.

“What an Amazing Week! Thank you to the Tennis Club Milano – Torneo Bonfiglio for the beautiful tournament,” wrote Ms. Eala in a Facebook post after her campaign.

She went on to thank her supporters and sponsors for rallying behind her.

The Trofeo Bonfiglio tournament was held from July 10 to 18 at the Tennis Club Milano Alberto Bonacossa and hosted the best under-18 tennis players on the international scene. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo

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