Alex Eala makes 2nd round in France’s W80 Grenoble meet
MANILA, Philippines–Alex Eala is making sure she’s up to task in her toughest tourney for the year so far, barging into the second round and facing a fourth seed hometown bet in the W80 Grenoble in France.
“I’m glad to have made it to the qualifying rounds and then won my first round this week,” said Eala, the 16-year-old Filipino who is focusing more on women’s circuit even though she still has two more years to collect achievements as a juniors player.
But things are going to be much difficult for Eala as she will dispute a spot in the quarterfinals against French player Chloe Paquet on Thursday.
Ranked No. 124 in the world, Paquet is expected impose her years of experience, having won four women’s titles last year including a similar W80 in Poitiers.
Paquet has also saw action in the 2021 Australian and French Open, tournaments that Eala likewise competed in but as a junior player.
After a disappointing season start in Spain, Eala, now ranked 587 in the world, took a big stride after disposing of 21-year-old Joanne Zuger (6-4, 6-1) in the opening round.
Eala, who had to hurdle two matches in the qualifying, refused to be intimidated by the big-serving Swiss who had three aces against her but also committed more double faults, 7-4.
The Filipino also turned in better win percentage on her first serve, nailing the point 74 percent of the time against 53 percent of Zuger who is currently No. 264 in the world.
And displaying better control in the indoor hard-courts, Eala converted more break points, making five of nine opportunities compared to 1-of-4 by Zuger.
Eala had tough luck in three W25 tourneys in Mallorca the past three weeks, where the best she could do was make the main draw.