Alex Eala claims third ITF crown at W25 Yecla in Spain

Rosy Mina

Posted at Jun 04 2023 07:17 PM

Alex Eala of the Philippines at the WTA Thailand Open. 2023 Thailand Open presented by E@.
Alex Eala of the Philippines at the WTA Thailand Open. 2023 Thailand Open presented by E@.

No. 2 seed Alex Eala of the Philippines collected her third professional title on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Tour with a 6-3, 7-5 triumph over Valentina Ryser of Switzerland at the W25 Yecla final, Sunday in Spain.

The W25 Yecla crown, which is the first championship of the season for the 18-year-old, is a follow-up to her conquests at the 2022 W25 Chiang Rai in Thailand and 2021 W15 Manacor in Spain.

At the outdoor hard court of Yecla Club de Tenis, WTA World No. 266 Eala made a strong start by taking a 3-0 lead over her 22-year-old opponent.

She held serve at 40-30 in the opening game, broke serve to love in the next, and overcame deuce in the third game.

Ryser, the 560th player on the WTA rankings, saved three break points and fought off two deuces to win the fourth game.

While serving at 4-2, Eala forced a deuce by firing an ace and saved a total of three break points in the game to advance to 5-2.

The Swiss netter responded with a quick service hold to trail at 3-5, prompting the Filipino to seal the first set at 6-3 with a love service hold.

In the second set, defending US Open Juniors singles champion Eala kicked things off with a 2-0 edge.

Ryser, a three-time ITF women’s titlist in both singles and doubles, held serve then went on to gain three break points in the fourth game. Three deuces later, the Swiss broke serve to level at 2-2. 

Eala managed to break back after bringing the fifth game to deuce, and Ryser broke once more to catch up at 3-3.

The finalists traded service holds until Eala broke on her second opportunity to serve for the championship at 5-4.

At 30-30 in the 10th game, Ryser gained a break point and converted it to remain in contention at 5-5.

Eala was able to earn two break points after Ryser committed a double fault, and the Filipino clinched the crucial break to serve for the match for the second time at 6-5.

After one hour and 30 minutes of play, Eala won her second of two championship points at 40-30 to emerge victorious at 7-5.

On her way to claiming her third ITF title, Eala overcame World No. 583 Katy Dunne of Great Britain in the first round, 7-5, 2-6, 6-2, and World No. 585 qualifier Nahia Berecoechea of France in the second round, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.

The Rafa Nadal Academy scholar breezed through the quarterfinals against Victoria Rodriguez of Mexico, 6-1, 6-3, before eking out another difficult win in the semifinals versus World No. 906 qualifier Lucia Peyre of Argentina , 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

The W25 Yecla is a $25,000 event on the ITF Women’s World Tennis Tour that was held in Murcia, the hometown of ATP World No. 1 and 2022 US Open victor Carlos Alcaraz.


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