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MANILA, Philippines – Putting behind her the string of first-round exits in her previous two tournaments, Alex Eala got back on track, prevailing over Amandine Hesse of France, 6-3, 6-2, on Tuesday, October 31, in the opening round of the ITF W60 22Ème Engie Open Nantes Atantique.
Eala, who in September won two bronze medals in the Hangzhou Asian Games, was in sharp form the entire match and dominated her 30-year-old opponent at the SNUC Tennis Club held in Nantes, France.
The 18-year-old Filipina broke free from a 1-1 deadlock in the opening set by pocketing the next three games to seize a comfortable 4-1 lead. She and Hesse held serve the rest of the way as the first set went to Eala.
The second set appeared to be a mere extension of the opening set with Eala again zooming to a 4-1 advantage which was too huge for Hesse to overturn.
Eala was in control the entire match which lasted just an hour and eighteen minutes, converting three out of five break points while facing break point herself just once and saving it.
It was an impressive victory by Eala over the veteran Hesse who has played for the French national team in the Federation Cup and has reached the second round of the French Open.
In the second round, the world number 193rd Eala will be facing sixth seed and world number 163 Zeynep Sonmez of Turkey.
Eala earlier saw action in the doubles event, partnering with Jessy Rompies of Indonesia. Unfortunately, the pair suffered a painful opening round three-set defeat to Ekaterina Maklalova and Ekaterina Reyngold of Russia, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. – Rappler.com