Tennis

Alex Eala books first finals of the year in Spain tiff

Ariel Ian Clarito

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Alex Eala books first finals of the year in Spain tiff

WELL-TRAVELED. Alex Eala continues to compete all over the world.

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Alex Eala gets a crack at her third ITF crown as she advances to the finals of the W25 Yecla in Spain

MANILA, Philippines – Alex Eala regained her bearings just when it mattered most to prevail over qualifier Lucia Peyre of Argentina, 6–3, 5-7, 6-4, in the semifinals of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) I Open Internacional Feminine at Court 1 of the Yecla Club de Tenis in Fuenteálamo in Spain on Saturday, June 3 (Sunday, June 4, Manila time).

Eala, seeded second in the $25,000 event, started strong by going up 3-0 in the opening set. After Peyre got back in the match by capturing the next two games, Eala reasserted herself by breaking then holding serve at love to go up 5-2 before she closed out the sent in the ninth game.

The battle of the teens between the 18-year-old Filipina and the Argentine seemed headed to an abbreviated finish when Eala went up 4-2 in the second set. But Peyre showed uncanny resilience for a 17-year-old as she won the next three games to take the lead at 5-4 on her way to extending the match to a decider. 

Eala, however, was determined to not miss out on her first finals appearance in the pro circuit this year.

She raced to a 3-0 to regain momentum. Peyre attempted to fight back, but in the two instances she broke Eala’s serve, the Filipina second seed broke right back to put herself in a position to end the match at 5-2.

Peyre made a last-minute surge and pocketed the next two games to cut the deficit to 4-5, but Eala did not succumb to pressure and held serve in the 10th game to secure the victory and a spot in the finals.

Eala will be facing Switzerland’s Valentina Ryser, an opponent four years older, for a shot at her third ITF title. – Rappler.com

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