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Alex Eala clinches 1st women's pro semis berth

Filipina teen tennis sensation Alex Eala continues to prove her worth in the women's circuit.

The 15-year-old Eala rallied from a set down to defeat Carole Monnet of France for her maiden pro semifinals berth on Friday, January 22 in Manacor, Spain.

Eala escaped with a come-from-behind win, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, over the tournament No. 5 seed and ITF singles world No. 14 in her first women's quarterfinals appearance.

The country's young tennis ace will now face Asian compatriot Adithya Karunaratne of Hong Kong in the semifinals of the ITF Rafa Nadal Academy World Tennis Tour tournament.

In her quarters match against Monnet, Eala cruised to a 4-1 start but the Frenchwoman bucked her with 4 straight games to gain the advantage and escape with an extended opening set win.

The juniors world No. 3, though, did not let her 19-year-old opponent slip with the momentum as she stayed close and capitalized on her serve to drag the game to a deciding set.

Eala only managed to gain control when she broke serve to go up 3-2 in the 3rd set and closed out the match in her favor.

With the cancellation of the Australian Open juniors tournament, Eala and Indonesian partner Priska Nugroho will not be able to defend their 2020 Australian Open juniors doubles title.

But Eala managed to achieve a personal goal of nailing at least her first professional quarters berth especially after missing out on a chance last year due to a mid-tournament cancellation.

After kicking off the 2020 season with her maiden Grand Slam title in Melbourne, the 15-year-old tennis star became the country's first junior Grand Slam semifinalist in 35 years in the Roland Garros girls singles tournament.– Rappler.com

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.

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