Alex Eala suffers quarterfinal exit in W80 California
MANILA, Philippines — Alex Eala ended her first $80,000 tournament with a quarterfinal exit at the hands of Mexico’s Marcela Zacarias, 2-6, 5-7, in the W80 Rancho Santa Fe on Saturday (Manila time) in California.
The 17-year-old Filipino recovered from a tough first set loss with a better showing in the second, where she was just a game away from forcing a decider with a 5-4 lead. But Zacarias, the Women’s Tennis Association’s World No. 229, fought her way back and completed a two-set win in two hours and 16 minutes.
Marcela will face Elvina Kalieva in the semifinals on Sunday.
Eala’s third professional title remained elusive for her with the Philippines’ first Grand Slam singles winner last earning a pro championship in the W25 Chiang Rai in Thailand last April.
But it was still an impressive first W80 stint for the Rafael Nadal Academy scholar as she willed 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 before taking down Katherine Sebov of Canada, 7-6(6), 6-2, in the second round on Friday to reach the semis.
Eala is currently World No.281 as of October 3, only one rank behind her career-best 280 last August 1.
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