By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Fresh off a historic 2022 US Open girls’ championship singles title, Alex Eala is back on the lawn tennis scene and played doubles during the International Tennis Federation (IITF) USA 39A tournament.
Eala and partner Alice Robbe of France reached the Round of 16 and fell short of a quarterfinal qualification after losing against the American duo of Whitney Osuigwe and Madison Brengle in three thrilling sets- 7.6, 3.6, 10.6-
In an attempt to win two titles in a row, Eala failed to complete the mission and exited the USA 39A against the more determined American pair.
It was a closely-contested first set as Eala & Robbe managed to force a tiebreak but couldn’t weather the storm and complete the comeback after the American pair bullied them in the net game.
During the second set, Eala & Robbe retaliated and countered the Americans’ fluid net game with a more varied offensive approach.
Eala had to dig deep to fully take control of the second set and fired several well-placed lob shots that resulted in easy scores every time the Americans quickly went in at the net area.
In the third set, the Americans started to pull away after Eala & Robbe committed several unforced errors that cost them the match.
This is still a positive result for Eala after playing most of her past ITF tournaments in singles and barely playing the doubles category.
Eala will then go back to the drawing board after a short break and will join the remaining ITF tournament circuits to help her pile up the points before the year ends.