Top seed Alex Eala suffers upset in W25 Monastir
MANILA, Philippines—Alex Eala fell to qualifier Jiaqi Wang of China, 6-0, 4-6, 3-6, in the W25 Monastir quarterfinals after playing two matches on Saturday (Manila time) at Hotel Skanes Family Monastir in Tunisia.
The 18-year-old Filipino, the top seed of the tournament, blew a 6-0 first-set win as Wang, ranked No. 1131 in the world, pulled off a comeback and book a ticket to the semifinals.
Eala played two matches in the day as her round 2 match with Nadine Keller of Switzerland was suspended when the former held a 5-1 lead due to rain before she completed a 6-1, 6-4 win to advance to the quarterfinals.
The Rafael Nadal Academy scholar showed no signs of fatigue with a dominant first set. But Wang stayed composed and edged Eala in the second to force a decider.
The Chinese unleashed a 3-0 start in the decider and pulled away with a 5-1 lead and never looked back to eliminate the top seed in two hours and 28 minutes.
Eala opened her Monastir campaign with a dominant 6-1, 6-1 win over German Anja Wildgruber.
Her third professional International Tennis Federation crown remained elusive for Eala, who won the 2021 W15 Manacor in Spain and last year’s W25 Chiang Rai in Thailand.
But it was the best finish Eala so far this 2023 after missing the quarterfinals in her past tournaments.
Eala, who is currently WTA World No. 262, will shift her focus to W25 Yecla from May 29 to June 4.