Alex Eala enters maiden final of the season at W25 Yecla in Spain

Rosy Mina

Posted at Jun 04 2023 02:52 PM | Updated as of Jun 04 2023 07:42 PM

Alex Eala at the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam in 2022. Vietnam Tennis Federation
Alex Eala at the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam in 2022. Vietnam Tennis Federation

MANILA – Second seed Alex Eala of the Philippines is through to her first final of 2023 after posting a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 win over qualifier Lucia Peyre of Argentina at the W25 Yecla semifinals in Spain on Saturday.

“Over the moon to be competing in my first final of the year! Bringing the positive energy on the court tomorrow,” Eala, 18, wrote on Facebook about her championship match on Sunday at Yecla Club de Tenis.

The final pits the Filipino WTA World No. 266 against 22-year-old Valentina Ryser of Switzerland.

The Swiss World No. 560 scored an upset against No. 4 seed Eva Guerrero Alvarez of Spain, 6-7(6), 7-6(4), 6-4, in the second semifinal of the day.

In the first semifinal on Court 1, Eala overcame deuce for a 3-0 lead over the 17-year-old World No. 906 Peyre. 

After an exchange of breaks in the fifth and sixth games, Eala secured a love service hold to advance to 5-2.

The reigning US Open Juniors singles winner saved a break point then served out the opening set with an ace, 6-3.

The two-time ITF women’s singles champion continued to lead in the second set at 4-2.

This caused her Argentine opponent to persevere as Peyre equalized at 4-4 on her second break point, then fought off six deuces to snatch the lead at 5-4.

After the teenagers held serve in the next two games, Peyre gained three set points on Eala’s serve and secured a love service break to take the second set, 7-5.

The Filipino ace bounced back in the deciding set with a 3-0 edge caused by a Peyre double fault.

Eala proceeded to look poised for victory as she maintained the upper hand at 5-2 with a service break.

Peyre broke back then held serve to move closer at 4-5, and Eala replied with a solid service game.

The Filipino earned three match points, converting the second one to book a finals berth, 6-4, after two hours and 25 minutes.

On her way to the final, Eala eliminated British World No. 583 Katy Dunne in the first round, 7-5, 2-6, 6-2, and World No. 585 French qualifier Nahia Berecoechea in the second round, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.

The Rafa Nadal Academy player then breezed through the quarterfinals versus Victoria Rodriguez of Mexico, 6-1, 6-3.

Eala, a two-time junior grand slam doubles winner, is aiming to claim her third professional singles title after conquering the 2021 W15 Manacor in Spain and 2022 W25 Chiang Rai in Thailand.


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