Tennis: Alex Eala makes W25 Madrid exit in quarterfinal

Rosy Mina

Posted at Jun 10 2023 09:53 PM

Yecla Club de Tenis on Facebook
Alex Eala of the Philippines. Yecla Club de Tenis on Facebook

MANILA – Filipino No. 3 seed Alex Eala exited the W25 Madrid in Spain on Saturday after losing in the quarterfinals against American fifth seed Makenna Jones, 6-2, 4-6, 4-6.

Women's Tennis Association (WTA) World No. 266 Eala battled with 383rd-ranked Jones at the outdoor hard court of Ciudad Raqueta in two hours and 43 minutes.

Eala, a three-time International Tennis Federation (ITF) women’s singles winner, kicked off the match with a 2-0 lead.

The Rafa Nadal Academy scholar broke serve for the second time to be at 4-2, then held serve to love in the following game.

The 18-year-old Filipino took the opening set, 6-2, by converting her second break point.

Jones, 25, fought back with a 3-0 edge in the second set.

The American with two professional singles crowns proceeded to hold for 4-2 by overcoming six deuces.

She broke serve again to widen her lead to 5-2 after getting past eight deuces.

Eala quickly broke back to trail at 3-5, and Jones replied by winning the next two games at deuce to force a deciding set, 6-4.

The seeded quarterfinalists were unable to hold serve as they leveled at 2-2, committing several double faults along the way.

Eala, the 2022 US Open Juniors singles champion, was the first to hold serve in the third set to improve to 3-2.

She pulled away to 4-2 after securing a love service break.

Jones responded by earning three break points in the next game, and she broke then held serve to equalize at 4-4.

The American broke again on her second opportunity in the ninth game to serve for the match at 5-4.

She scored a love service hold for the win, 6-4, and booked a semifinal spot versus World No. 513 Jacqueline Cabaj Awad of Sweden.

After almost three hours of play, Eala served three aces and nine double faults while Jones made seven double faults.

Both players won eight break points, with the Filipino having a total of 12 break opportunities and the American gaining 19 break chances.

On her way to the quarterfinals, Eala moved past two Americans: Jessica Failla in the first round, 6-3, 7-6(8), and qualifier Alana Smith in the second round, 6-4, 6-4.

Last week, Eala bagged the W25 Yecla championship in the Spanish region of Murcia to back up her titles from the 2022 W25 Chiang Rai in Thailand and 2021 W15 Manacor in Spain.


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