Alex Eala barges into W80 California quarterfinals
MANILA, Philippines — Alex Eala advanced to the quarterfinals of her first $80,000 competition in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Women’s World Tennis Tour.
The 17-year-old Filipino took down Katherine Sebov of Canada, 7-6(6), 6-2, in the second round of W80 Rancho Santa Fe on Friday (Manila time) in California.
The Rafael Nadal Academy scholar staved off Sebov in a close first set encounter and broke a 2-2 tie in the second set before taking full control to earn a quarterfinal-clinching victory after two hours.
“Amazing match in my first W80k Tournament here at the RSF Open. Thank you to all who cheered in person…and virtually. Tomorrow, QUARTER FINALS!” Eala posted on Facebook. “Laban! Vamos! Allez!”
Eala, the Women’s Tennis Association’s No. 281, forged a duel against World No. 229 Marcela Zacarias of Mexico on Saturday at 2 a.m. (Manila time).
The 28-year-old Zacarias eliminated Hina Inoue, 6-1, 7-5, in their second round duel to barge into the quarters.
Eala has been impressive in her first W80 tournament as she worked her way to the main draw after beating Deniza Marcinkevica of Latvia, 6-1, 6-3, and Alana Smith of United States, 6-0, 6-0, in the qualifying round.
The Filipino netter ousted American Dalayna Hewitt, 6-1, 2-6, 6-0, in the first round.
The Philippines’ first Grand Slam singles winner is eyeing her third professional title since winning a pair of championships in the W15 Manacor last year and the W25 Chiang Rai in Thailand last April.