Tennis

Alex Eala falls to Mexican veteran, crashes out in W80 quarters

Ariel Ian Clarito
Alex Eala falls to Mexican veteran, crashes out in W80 quarters

OUT. Alex Eala exits in the round of 8 in the US tourney.

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Alex Eala finds some extra gear late, but Mexican Marcela Zacarias still manages to stop the Filipina teen’s bid for a semifinal spot in the W80 California tourney

MANILA, Philippines – Alex Eala’s comeback bid fell short as the Filipina teen star got the boot on Friday, October 7 (Saturday, October 8, Philippine time) in the quarterfinals of the W80 RSF Pro Open at the Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club in California, USA.

Eala found 28-year-old Mexican veteran Marcela Zacarias a tough nut to crack and ended her bid for a semifinal spot in straight sets, 6-2, 7-5. 

The 17-year-old Eala got off to a rough start in the opening set. Despite having nine break point opportunities in the two instances that Zacarias was serving, Eala could not convert while the Mexican broke serve twice as the Filipina found herself down 0-5.

Eala finally put herself on the scoreboard in the sixth game and followed it up by holding serve in the seventh to narrow the deficit to 2-5. But that was the closest that Zacarias allowed her as the Mexican national team player closed out the set in the eighth game. 

The second set initially appeared to be a repeat of the opening frame as Eala dropped serve anew in the third game to fall behind early, 1-2. 

But Eala suddenly found some extra gear as she broke right back twice to go up 4-2. She went up 5-3 and had the golden opportunity to nail the second set on her serve. 

Zacarias, who has won 16 ITF pro titles in her career, would storm back to not only break Eala but also prevent the Filipina from earning any more point as the Mexican captured the next four games to book herself a spot in the semifinals. 

This is the highest level in the pro circuit that Eala has advanced deep in the competition. Her previous best was a runner-up finish in the W60 Madrid last June. 

Currently 281st in the world ranking, Eala could possibly see her standing go up and improve on her career-best ranking of 280. 

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