Alex Eala boosts title bid with singles semis clincher; falls in doubles of ITF Luxembourg

Ariel Ian Clarito

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Alex Eala boosts title bid with singles semis clincher; falls in doubles of ITF Luxembourg

TEEN ACE. Alex Eala gets ready with a backhand in pro circuit action.


Still rolling without dropping a set, Alex Eala quickly repulses her Dutch foe with a good dose of powerful groundstrokes to reach the last four

MANILA, Philippines – Won one, lost one.

Alex Eala took to the court twice and won in singles but fell in doubles action of the ITF W40 Kyotec Open at the Tennis Club Petange in Luxembourg on Friday, November 17 (Saturday, November 18, Manila time).

Eala was unstoppable in the singles quarterfinals, displaying superiority and dominance in a 6-3, 6-2 thumping of Jasmijn Gimbrere of the Netherlands, but was not as fortunate in the doubles competition. 

Ranged against top seeds Ali Collins of Great Britain and Isabelle Haverlag of the Netherlands, Eala and partner Zeynep Sonmez of Turkey came close to extending the match to a super tiebreak but fell short, 6-2, 7-6(4). 

Seeded ninth in singles, the 18-year-old Eala escaped from a 2-2 deadlock in the opening set with a service break in the sixth game to zoom ahead to 5-2. 

Gimbrere managed to inch closer at 5-3 but that merely delayed the inevitable as Eala closed out the first set in the very next game. Eala did not drop her serve the entire first set. 

Any hopes for a turnaround in the second set by the 22-year-old Gimbrere was quickly repulsed with a good dose of powerful groundstrokes by Eala, who broke her Dutch foe twice to jump to a 5-0 lead. The match was all over after just an hour and 21 minutes.

This is the third straight victory for Eala without dropping a set. In the opening round, she turned back Angelina Wirges of Germany, 6-3, 6-2, then followed it up with a clinical 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Johanne Svendsen of Denmark. 

The path to the finals will get a lot tougher for Eala as she faces fourth seed Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany in the semifinals on Saturday. 

The 29-year-old Friedsam is a veteran pro who once ranked 45th in the world. She reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and the third round of Wimbledon in 2016.

The Filipina teen tennis ace is seeking her third ITF singles title for the year and the fifth of her career. She emerged champion of two $25,000 events this year, the ITF Yecla in Spain in June and the ITF Roehampton in the United Kingdom in August. –

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