Alex Eala crushed a young Russian prodigy on Saturday and approached the gate of his first junior tournament title in two years.
Playing with a more stable serve compared to recent matches, Eala scored a 7-5, 6-2 win over Mirra Andreeva to reach the final of the Bonfiglio Trophy in Milan, Italy.
The top 16-year-old Filipino tennis player will fight for the Grade A championship on Sunday against Nikola Bartunkova from the Czech Republic or American Clervie Ngounoue, who were still playing in the other semi-final match.
Eala and her American partner Madison Sieg were also set to contest the doubles crown against Lucija Ciric Bagaric of Croatia and Sofia Costoulas of Belgium.
Unlike her previous matches, Eala was more determined against 14-year-old Andreeva, who already has three International Tennis Federation titles under her belt and surprised a third-seeded third on her way to the semi-finals.
Eala quickly set the tone with a key break in the eighth game of the first for a 5-3 lead. That put No. 102 on defense for most of the hour and 15 minutes of the game. INQ
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