Promising netter Michael Francis Eala copped the second-place honor in the 2017 Velayat Cup – Iran Junior Tennis Championship held at the Bahman Stadium Hakim Nezi Isfahan in Iran.
The sixth-seed Eala absorbed a 6-7 (1), 1-6 decision to Berk Ilkel of Turkey in the championship round of the Grade 5 tournament sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation.
Eala needed to survive Darrshan Suresh of Malaysia in the semifinals via a 2-6, 6-0, 6-4 come-from-behind win to arrange a showdown with Ilkel, who also scored a thrilling 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3 win over his compatriot Cem Sakir Ozkan in the other semis game.
The 15-year-old Eala secured an opening round bye before ousting Seyeed Mohammad Eman Hoseini of Iran in the second round (6-0, 6-0), Mohammad Mirazaei of Iran in the third round (6-4, 7-5) and Omer Berk Gorgun of Turkey in the quarterfinals (6-4, 6-2).
In doubles, Eala and Malaysian partner Darrshan Suresh got a first-round bye then defeated Seyed Arad Hosseini and Amirhossein Rezaeinezhad of Iran in the second round (6-0, 6-1) and another Iranian pair Seyed Mehrshad Ghadghazi Bak and Mohammad Mirzaei in the quarterfinals (6-4, 3-6, 10-6).
But Eala and Suresh bowed down to the No. 2 duo of Ilkel and Gorgun in the semifinals (0-6, 4-6).
Meanwhile, Filipino Treat Huey and Belarusian Max Mirnyi bowed out of contention in the ATP World Tour BMW Open being held in Munich, Germany.
Huey and Mirnyi, seeded second in the tournament, were the biggest casualties of the day after suffering a 6-7 (2), 1-6 loss to German wild cards Gero Kretschmer and Alexander Satschko in the opening round.
The duo still earned 2,490 Euros but failed to get a single point for ATP ranking.