By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Alex Eala and Oksana Selekhmeteva outlasted Hungary’s Natalia Szabanin and Croatia’s Petra Marcinko, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (5), to reach the semifinals of the Roland Garros Girls Doubles on Thursday, June 10.
The top-seeded Filipino-Russian pair needed 1 hour and 39 minutes in beating their fifth-ranked foes to set up a duel with unseeded Italians Eleonora Alvisi and Lisa Pigato.
Alvisi and Pigato advanced with a quick 6-3, 6-0 thumping of Russia’s Tatiana Barkova and Belarus’ Aliona Falei.
Eala’s latest feat inched her closer to a second Grand Slam Girls Doubles title after winning the 2020 Australian Open with Indonesian partner Priska Madelyn Nugroho.
Selekhmeteva also seeks her second Grand Slam Girls Doubles crown after capturing the 2019 US Open with Latvia’s Kamilla Bartone.
Eala and Selekhmeteva squandered a 5-2 first-set lead after losing the next four games, but held their composure during the tiebreak.
It was almost the same scenario in the second frame where Eala and Selekhmeteva took a 4-1 lead before Sabanin and Marcinko tied it at 4-4 and 6-6, but the Filipino-Russian duo persevered to win the match.