By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Teen sensation Alex Eala highlighted a wondrous week in Milan by winning the JA Milan 2021 Tennis Tour girls crown over the weekend.
Still on cloud nine after winning the girls’ doubles title victory with American partner Madison Sieg, the top-seeded Eala did not waste time in routing Czech Republic’s Nikola Batunkova, 6-3, 6-3, to rule the Grade A tournament.
It was Eala’s first junior singles title this year, having lost in the opening round of the French Open last June, the quarterfinals in the J1 Roehampton in Great Britain and the second round in the Wimbledon both in July.
The 16-year-old only dropped two sets throughout the tournament as she prevailed over Czech Republic’s Brenda Fruhvirtova, 6-1, 6-2; Canada’s Kayla Cross, 6-1, 6-1; Russia’s Ksenia Zaytseva, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 7-5; Belgium’s Sofia Costoulas, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4; and Russia’s Mirra Andreeva, 7-5, 6-2.
In the doubles, she and Sieg squeaked past Croatia’s Lucija Ciric Bagaric and Costoulas, 6-4, 4-6, 13-11.
In a Facebook post, Eala thanked the tournament organizers, her sponsors and fans, and the Rafa Nadal Academy where she has been a scholar for the past years for their support.
“What an amazing week!” she wrote.