Alex Eala reaches semis of W25 tournament in Spain
MANILA, Philippines—Alex Eala swept Victoria Rodriguez of Mexico, 6-1, 6-3, to barge into the semifinal round of the W25 Yecla on Saturday (Manila time) at Yecla Club de Tenis in Spain.
The 18-year-old Filipino tennis star is playing her first semifinal of the year against Lucia Peyre of Argentina and looking to reach the finals of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) $25,000 tournament.
Eala made quick work of the 28-year-old Rodriguez in just 66 minutes as she set the tone with a blazing 5-0 start in the first set of their quarterfinal duel.
The Mexican, who won nine ITF titles, refused to give momentum to the Filipino prodigy as she won the first game of the second set before the latter tied the match at 2-2.
Eala was kept by Rodriguez within striking distance with a precarious 4-3 lead before she pulled away and win two straight games with a 40-0 victory in the eighth game and broke the serve of her Mexican foe to advance to the next round.
“After my Quarterfinals finish in Monastir, Tunisia during my Birthday week, I am glad to have won my Quarterfinals match today! I play semis tomorrow here at Yecla, Spain,” Eala wrote on Facebook.
The Rafael Nadal Academy scholar, who is ranked No. 266 in the Women’s Tennis Association, bounced back from a quarterfinal exit in W25 Monastir in Tunisia last week.
It will be her first semifinal appearance this 2023 against a 17-year-old qualifier Peyre, who beat Katarina Kozarov in the quarterfinals, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).
Eala started her campaign with a 7-5, 2-6, 6-2, win over Katy Dunne of Great Britain before eliminating Nahia Berecoechea of France, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1, in the second round.
The first Filipino to win a Grand Slam singles title is gunning for her third ITF championship since the 2021 W15 Manacor in Spain and last year’s W25 Chiang Rai in Thailand.