Eala, partner lose in 3 sets

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    THE third-seeded pair of Alex Eala and American Elena Kalieva absorbed a heart-breaking 5-7, 6-2, 7-10 loss to Italians Eleonora Alvisi and Lisa Pigato last Tuesday night in the opening round of the girls doubles of the French Open juniors tournament at the Roland Garros Stadium in Paris, France.

    Deadlocked at 6-all in the super tie breaker, the Italian pair went on a 4-1 run to settle the issue after one hour and 24 minutes of play on Court 13 to pull off the upset victory.

    It was a stunning setback for the Eala-Kalieva duo, who shrugged off a 5-7 defeat in the first set to post a dominant 6-2 win in the second set and force a deciding set.

    The Alvisi-Pigato pair surged to a 6-3 edge in the tie-break before their fancied rivals grimly rallied with three straight points to knot the count and stay alive.

    With the Italians poised to wrap up the match at 9-6, Eala and Kalieva took one more point from their foes before finally yielding the set and match.