Alex Eala gears up for payback in W75 Porto quarters

Ariel Ian Clarito

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Alex Eala gears up for payback in W75 Porto quarters

FOCUSED. Alex Eala reacts during a singles match in the ITF W75 Porto in Portugal.


After booking a quarterfinal berth off an upset win, Alex Eala primes herself for some payback against the opponent who dealt the Filipina teen the most lopsided loss of her pro career

MANILA, Philippines – There’s one more reason for Alex Eala to feel pumped up after clinching a quarterfinal berth in the ITF W75 Porto in Portugal. 

Eala – who surprisingly scored an easy 6-0, 6-3 victory over eighth seed Katarina Zavatska of Ukraine in the second round on Thursday, February 22 – booked a quarterfinal date against Anna Bondar of Hungary. 

But on top of vying for a final four spot, the matchup may also serve as another motivation for Eala as Bondar dealt the Filipina teen the most lopsided loss of her pro career. 

In April 2022, a then 16-year-old Eala faced off against a 24-year-old Bondar in the qualifiers of the WTA Madrid. 

Eala was just two weeks removed from winning the ITF W25 Chiang Rai crown in Thailand, while Bondar was playing the best tennis of her career and was on the cusp of making it to the top 50 in the world.

Bondar quickly showed her top form, dealing Eala a double bagel, 6-0, 6-0 – still the worst loss the Filipina has suffered in her pro career. 

Eala, though, hopes to show how much she has grown after winning in dominant fashion over Zavatska, who previously ranked 103 in the world and has reached the main draw of the French Open and the US Open.

It took Eala just 20 minutes to win the first set, breaking the 24-year-old Ukrainian three times while not facing any break point. 

Eala scored 24 points while limiting Zavatska to just 5 points the entire opening set.

The second set was more competitive, at least until the halfway point. Eala and Zavatska exchanged service breaks and remained tied until 3-3. 

Eala then stepped up an extra gear that Zavatska could not keep pace with. The Filipina blanked the Ukrainian the rest of the way to close the second set in the ninth game and finish the match in an hour and 14 minutes. 

With the victory, Eala gets a chance to avenge her sorry loss to Bondar as the two square off on Friday, February 23, at the Complexo de Ténis de Monte Aventino in Porto, with the winner advancing to the semifinals.

Eala has been in razor sharp form so far in Porto, winning her matches in straight sets in the first two rounds, while the second-seeded Bondar came back from a set down in the previous round before clipping Sinja Kraus of Switzerland, who retired after the second game of the third set. 

Bondar, of course, will have the advantage in experience. The 26-year-old Hungarian already has one WTA singles title to her name and has played in all Grand Slam events, even advancing to the second round of the 2023 Australian Open.

Eala also saw action in doubles on Thursday, but she and Ali Collins of Great Britain fell to second seeds Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany and Alicia Barnett of Great Britain, 6-3, 6-4. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!