MANILA, Philippines – Top seed Alex Eala scored her second straight-set victory in the ITF W25 Monastir after thumping Nadine Keller of Switzerland in a rain-delayed match, 6-1, 6-4, on Friday, May 26, at the Hotel Skanes Family Monastir Court 2 in Tunisia.
This was a fitting follow-up to Eala’s 6-1, 6-1 opening-round triumph on Wednesday over Anja Wildgruber of Germany.
Keller, ranked 483rd in the world, was expected to pose a stiffer challenge to Eala, who is now 262 in the world rankings.
The second-round encounter, which began on Thursday, initially followed a similar script to Eala’s opening-round win.
Eala raced to a 3-0 advantage before Keller finally held serve in the fourth game of the first set. The Filipina teen tennis star then broke Keller anew in the sixth game to go up 5-1 before play was suspended a second time.
The delay was not enough to stymie Eala’s momentum when play resumed on Friday as she closed out the opening set on her serve, 6-1.
Keller tasted her first lead in the match at 1-0 of the second set. Eala, the 2022 US Open girls singles champion, secured the next two games to go up 3-1.
But Keller refused to go away easily.
The 23-year-old Swiss pulled even at 3-3 after four break points in the sixth game. After the two exchanged service breaks to tie at 4-4, Eala regained control of the match by going up 40-0 en route to breaking the serve of Keller, who appeared to be slowing down.
Even with Eala facing two break points at 15-40 in the 10th game, she still managed to finish strong by scoring the next four points to end the set and the match, 6-4.
With the win, Eala will continue her quest for a third title in the pro circuit with a quarterfinal matchup against qualifier Jiaqi Wang of China, who upset sixth seed Viktoria Morvayova of Slovakia in three sets in the second round. – Rappler.com
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