Alex Eala makes second quarterfinal of the season in Spain

Rosy Mina

Posted at Jun 02 2023 04:34 PM

Alex Eala of the Philippines at the WTA Thailand Open in Hua Hin. 2023 Thailand Open
Alex Eala of the Philippines at the WTA Thailand Open in Hua Hin. 2023 Thailand Open

No. 2 seed Alex Eala of the Philippines saw off French qualifier Nahia Berecoechea, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1, to reach her second quarterfinal of the year at the W25 Yecla in Spain.

Eala, who exited in the quarters of the W25 Monastir in Tunisia last week, was leading at 2-1 when play was suspended at 15-15 in the fourth game.

When the match resumed on the outdoor hard court of Yecla Club de Tenis, WTA World No. 585 Berecoechea held serve for the first time to catch up at 2-2.

At 3-3, Berecoechea broke serve after World No. 266 Eala committed a double fault.

The 19-year-old French ace went on to overcome deuce in the next two games to take the first set via a service break, 6-3.

Eala, 18, fought on by upping her game and powering through with a 5-0 edge in the second set. 

She moved past deuce in the opening game, advanced to 3-0 via a Berecoechea double fault, and converted her second of three break points in the fifth game.

As she was serving for the second set, Eala slumped to 0-40. The reigning US Open Juniors champion saved one break point via an ace, but was broken afterwards.

Eala, a two-time ITF women’s singles winner, broke back at 40-15 to force a deciding set, 6-1.

The third set began with the teenagers exchanging service breaks before Eala took control.

The Filipino clinched a love service hold for 2-1, then broke again to pull away at 3-1 after Berecoechea served a double fault.

She scored another service break for 5-1, her ninth of 15 break points won against her French foe with three ITF women’s singles titles and one doubles trophy. 

Eala served out the victory on her first match point, 6-1, to set up a quarterfinal clash versus World No. 637 Victoria Rodriguez of Mexico.

Rodriguez, 28, reached a career-high ranking of No. 216 in 2015, while Eala peaked at 214th in October.

In the first round on Wednesday, Eala ousted World No. 583 Katy Dunne of Great Britain, 7-5, 2-6, 6-2.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, opened her Yecla campaign with a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 upset of Spanish No. 6 seed Georgina Garcia-Perez before defeating Romanian Andreea Amalia Rosca in the second round, 6-4, 6-0.

The W25 Yecla, which is a $25,000 event on the ITF Women’s World Tennis Tour, is being held in Murcia, the hometown of World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz.


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