Alex Eala reaches first semis of the year in ITF W25

Ariel Ian Clarito

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Alex Eala reaches first semis of the year in ITF W25

RESILIENCE. Alex Eala stays in top form.


After bundling out another older foe, Alex Eala claims a final four spot to stay on track of her ITF title bid

MANILA, Philippines – Second seed Alex Eala will march to her first semifinal stint for the year after the Filipina teen disposed of Victoria Rodriguez of Mexico, 6–1, 6-3, in the Open Internacional Feminine quarterfinal at the Yecla Club de Tenis in Fuenteálamo in Spain on Friday, June 2 (Saturday, June 3, Manila time).

In earning a spot in the final four of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) $25,000 event, Eala bested her previous highest finish for the season in the ITF W25 Monastir in Tunisia, where she reached the quarterfinal last week.

The 28-year-old Rodriguez, the former world No. 216 who has won nine ITF singles titles, was looking for another upset after opening the W25 Yecla with a win over sixth seed Georgina Garcia-Perez of Spain in the first round.

Eala, though, would have none of it.

The 18-year-old Eala was all business from the get-go and stormed to a 5-0 lead after breaking Rodriguez twice in the opening set. The Mexican veteran held serve for the first time in the sixth game to avoid losing via bagel, but Eala closed out the first set the next game on her serve.

Eala’s dominance saw her not facing break point the entire first set.

This changed quickly in the second set with Rodriguez enjoying the lead at 1-0 after breaking Eala for the first time. Eala evened the count in the very next game and the score remained tied until the fourth game.

Then Eala went on another gear which Rodriguez could not keep pace with.

A service break in the fifth game proved to be the turning point as Eala retook the lead, 3-2, which she would not relinquish.

Although Rodriguez still managed to inch closer at 4-3, that would be the last real threat she would be posing. Eala extended the lead to 5-3 then broke Rodriguez in the ninth game to boot out the Mexican.

The Filipina tennis star will face a fellow teen next, 17-year-old qualifier Lucia Peyre of Argentina, in Friday’s semifinal.

Over in Indonesia, recent SEA Games men’s doubles gold medalist Francis Casey Alcantara teamed up with Hiroki Moriya of Japan to advance to the finals of the BNI-Medco Energi M25K International Tennis Series I TO V. 

The pair prevailed in the semifinal on Friday over Alcantara’s former doubles partner Pruchya Isaro of Thailand and Markos Kalovelonis of Greece, 6-4, 6-3. 

Alcantara and Moriya will battle for the M25 Jakarta title on Saturday against local bets Christopher Rungat and Nathan Anthony Barki. –

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