Eala barges into finals
Alex Eala

Eala barges into finals

John Bryan Ulanday (The Philippine Star) - January 24, 2021 - 12:00am

Faces Spanish opponent for title

MANILA, Philippines — Rampaging Filipina tennis ace Alex Eala rolled past Hong Kong’s Adithya Karunaratne, 6-3, 6-4, last night and barged into the finals of her first professional event the W15 Manacor ITF Tournament put up by the Rafael Nadal Academy in Spain.

Buoyed by convincing victories in the earlier rounds, the 15-year-old wunderkind sustained her fine form with a dominant opening set before dousing cold water on Karunaratne’s fierce rally in the second frame to seal the huge semifinals victory.

“Sweet 15! At just 15 years old, Alex has qualified for her first ITF finals. Great game!” the Nadal Academy, where Eala trains and studies as a scholar, posted on Twitter.

She will shoot for all the marbles against 28-year-old hometown pride Yvonne Cavalle-Reimers following the latter’s relatively easy 6-4, 6-2, victory against France’s Leolia Jeanjean.

Ranked third in the ITF Juniors prior to the tourney, Eala eked out a gritty 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 win over French Carole Monnet in the quarterfinals early Saturday morning to barge into the Final Four.

She previously cruised past Italy’s Ana Paradisi (6-1, 6-2) before scoring a stunning quarterfinal upset against tournament No. 1 seed and ITF women’s singles No.2 player Seone Mendez (6-4, 6-2) of Australia.

This is Eala’s first event this year following an illustrious 2020 highlighted by a juniors doubles crown in the Australian Open.

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