Tennis

Alex Eala displays steely nerves to stay alive in France tourney

Delfin Dioquino
Alex Eala displays steely nerves to stay alive in France tourney

EMOTIONAL. Alex Eala lets out a huge roar after earning her third straight win in the W80 Poitiers in France.

Alex Eala Facebook page

Alex Eala dispatches her third straight French opponent to advance to the round of 16 of the W80 Poitiers

MANILA, Philippines – Alex Eala has been a thorn in the side of the home bets in the W80 Poitiers in France.

Eala dispatched her third straight French foe after outlasting Jessika Ponchet, 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (6) to advance to the round of 16 of the $80,000 tournament on Tuesday, October 25.

Riding high on her back-to-back sweeps of Astrid Cirotte and Diana Martynov in the qualifying draw, the 17-year-old Eala held her nerve in the nail-biting third set as she finally got over the hump against Ponchet.

The 26-year-old Ponchet – who is ranked No. 161 by WTA, 87 spots higher than Eala – beat the Filipina twice in their first two encounters.

Eala fell 6-2, 6-1 to Ponchet in the W25 Palma del Rio in Spain earlier this year and again in the W60 Vitoria-Gasteiz as she got swept anew, 6-4, 6-4.

A third consecutive defeat seemed imminent when Eala squandered a 3-1 advantage and got broken twice to cede the second set to Ponchet, who then moved on the cusp of victory with a 6-5 edge in the third set.

But Eala showed immense composure in the 12th game, breaking a 30-30 tie with a forehand winner and another forehand shot which Ponchet failed to return.

Ponchet jumped to a 5-3 lead in the tiebreak only to commit three straight errors as Eala seized the upper hand.

Although Ponchet pulled even at 6-6 with an ace, Eala completed her payback in 2 hours and 30 minutes behind a powerful forehand and a forceful two-handed backhand.

Eala will face the winner between Marine Partaud of France and Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia for a seat in the quarterfinals.

In doubles play, Eala and Croatian partner Petra Marcinko advanced to the quarterfinals following a 6-2, 6-3 victory over the Belarusian duo of Yuliya Hatouka and Iryna Shymanovich.

Eala and Marcinko will tangle with the Czech pair of Miriam Kolodziejova and Markata Vondrousova next. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

author

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.