Good, bad news as Alex Eala crashes out of W75 Porto quarters

Ariel Ian Clarito

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Good, bad news as Alex Eala crashes out of W75 Porto quarters

HIT. Alex Eala goes for a forehand in singles action.


Alex Eala falls short of her bid to get back at former world No. 50 Anna Bondar, the Hungarian who dealt the Filipina teen the worst loss of her pro career

MANILA, Philippines – The good news is that Alex Eala showed she has improved tremendously since she last faced former world No. 50 Anna Bondar.

The bad news is that Eala’s improvement is still not enough to overcome the 26-year-old Hungarian.

Eala fell anew to Bondar, this time in three sets, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-1, on Friday, February 23, in the quarterfinals of the ITF W75 Porto in Portugal.

Two years ago, Bondar handed the Filipina teen the worst loss of her pro career – a double bagel, 6-0, 6-0 – in the WTA Madrid qualifiers. 

Eala had her chances against the second-seeded Bondar, but the Hungarian’s experience and composure carried her through against the 18-year-old Filipina. 

The first set was a seesaw battle with Bondar drawing first blood and racing ahead to 2-0. Eala finally got herself going when she swept the next three games to take a 3-2 advantage. 

Bondar, however, reestablished her control of the match and regained the lead at 4-3. Although Eala managed to even the count at 4-4, Bondar broke Eala a third time and ended the set in the 10th game.

The second set appeared like a sequel of the opening set with Bondar once again gaining a 2-0 lead, then Eala fighting back to surge ahead at 3-2. 

After the world No. 188 Filipina extended her lead to 4-2, Bondar bounced back to retake the lead at 5-4 and 6-5. 

But Eala showed a lot of heart and forced a tiebreak where she dominated and jumped to 5-1, a lead which was too much for Bondar to overcome as the match extended to a deciding third set.

The fight back in the second set turned out to be Eala’s final stand.

Bondar, owner of one WTA singles title who has played in all the Grand Slam events, showed she had some gas left in the tank in the third set, dominating a fading Eala, who seemingly expended all her energy in winning the previous set. 

The seasoned Bondar erected a 4-0 cushion before Eala finally got to the scoreboard in the fifth game. 

That was the only time Bondar allowed her to score. The Hungarian finally ended the match in the seventh game after two hours and 17 minutes.

Eala will have little time to lick her wounds as she is slated to see action on February 26 in the ITF W50 1st Empire Women’s Indoor 2024 in Trnva, Slovakia. –

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