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Eala, French partner upsets top seeds for W75 doubles title

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PHOTO: Alex Eala/Facebook
Alex Eala earned her second professional doubles title after she and home bet Estelle Cascino outlasted their top-seeded foes in the W75 International Tennis Federation (ITF) Croissy-Beaubourg finals.
The duo shocked Great Britain's Maia Lumsden and Cascino's fellow French Jessika Ponchetto with a 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) triumph on Saturday night, March 30 (Manila time), in France.
Eala not only won her second doubles crown in the ITF circuit this year but also redeemed herself from an early exit in the singles competition. The Filipina wunderkind fell short against Germany's Mona Barthel in the second round, 6-4, 4-6, 1-6.
She won her first doubles tilt on January 27, 2024 in the W50 Pune in India, alongside Latvia's Darja Semenistaja.
Eala and Cascino started strong in the opening set by establishing a 3-1 lead, but Lumsden and Ponchetto bounced back to take a 5-4 cushion.
Tying the first set at 10-all in the 10th game, the winning pair gained momentum to eke out a hard-fought 7-5 squeaker.
The Filipino-French duo raced to an early 2-0 advantage in the second set but blew it again, enabling their opposition to take the driver's seat, 5-4.
Regaining their form, Eala and Cascino tied Set 2 at five-all before the pairs sent the frame to a tiebreak, as both traded the 11th and 12th games.
The victors ultimately emerged as champions after taking care of business to end the hour-and-31-minute battle.
With the stunning upset, the 18-year-old Eala is poised to improve her current doubles ranking of 305th. She reached a career-high of 278th globally earlier in the month.
For Cascino, the current world number 146 in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) doubles, it was her 23rd doubles title.
On their way to the championship round, Eala and Cascino showed grit and determination to overcome the tough competition.
They bested Switzerland's Celine Naef and India's Prarthana Thombare in the Round of 16, 5-7, 6-2, 10-6, to set up their clash with Great Britain's Emily Appleton and the Netherlands' Isabelle Haverlag in the quarterfinals, whom the Filipina and French dominated, 6-4, 6-0.
In the semifinals, the duo stomped their class over Russia's Kira Pavlova and Luxembourg's Marie Weckerie to barge into the finale, 6-3, 6-3.

Last Modified: 2024-Apr-01 07.00.00 UTC+0800