Alex Eala clinches quarterfinal slot at Asian Games
HANGZHOU, China—Alex Eala marched to the quarterfinals of women’s singles in tennis at the 19th Asian Games on Tuesday.
Seeded fourth in the tournament, Eala subdued India’s Rutuja Sampatrao Bhosale, 7-6 (5), 6-2, in nearly two hours of fierce exchange at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Tennis Court here.
The fast-rising Filipino moved closer to the medal rounds where the champion earns the coveted lone spot to the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“I represent our country every time I play, but the Asian Games is different. I’m part of a team here in a different atmosphere and it brings a different attitude for me,” said the 18-year-old Eala.
The 2022 US Open girls’ singles champion is bound to face either eighth-ranked Lanlana Tararudee of Thailand or No. 8 Kyoka Okamura of Japan in the quarters where the rigorous stretch of the meet begins.
The 13th-ranked Bhosale dragged Eala to an 80-minute tiebreaker in the first frame before the latter eventually took command in the second set.
“Everyday is a different day and I have a lot of confidence going forward,” said Eala, who is currently ranked No. 191 in the world.
Surviving the quarterfinals could only get way more brutal where Chinese top seed Zheng Qinwen and second-ranked Zhu Lin are anticipated to figure in the semifinals as well as No. 3 Ankita Raina of India.
Presently ranked 22nd in the world, Zheng advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2023 US Open after defeating last year’s runner-up Ons Jabeur.
“The people here are really good, it’s high level and I don’t want to expect too much. I try to take it one step at a time,” said Eala.