Tennis: Alex Eala rules Spain ITF event for first pro title

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 24 2021 08:41 PM | Updated as of Jan 24 2021 09:16 PM

(UPDATED) Filipina tennis phenom Alex Eala displayed tremendous poise in beating hometown bet Yvonne Cavalle-Reimers in the final of the ITF Rafa Nadal Academy World Tennis Tour tournament, Sunday in Manacor, Spain.

The 15-year-old Eala blew a lead in the first set but found her rhythm in the second en route to a 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 victory to secure her first pro title.

It was an impressive feat for the teenager, who took down the 28-year-old Cavalle-Reimers in a match that lasted over two hours. The Spanish veteran entered the final having already won six ITF titles but faltered against Eala down the stretch.

Eala showed her composure in recovering from a tough first set that saw her drop the last three games to Cavalle-Reimers, and dominated the second frame while dealing with the increasingly windy conditions in the venue. 

She maintained her momentum all throughout the third set, fending off Cavalle-Reimers' attempts at a comeback.

Eala had defied the odds to make it to the final, as she stunned top-seeded Seone Mendez of Australia, 6-4, 6-1, in the second round before outlasting France's Carole Monnet, the fifth seed, 6-7, 7-6 (4), 6-4 in the quarterfinals.

She then cruised past Hong Kong's Adithya Karunaratne, 6-3, 6-4, in Saturday's semifinals to set up the title showdown against Spain's Cavalle-Reimers.

Eala's feat was celebrated by the Rafael Nadal Academy, where she has been honing her craft.

The event, which was put up by the ITF Rafa Nadal Academy, offers a prize money of $15,000.

Eala was coming off a superb 2020 that saw her rise to No. 2 in the world tennis tour junior rankings after a strong run in the French Open. 

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