MANILA – No. 4 seed Alexandra “Alex” Eala of the Philippines made it to her sixth quarterfinal of the season after defeating Amy Zhu of the United States, 6-4, 6-3, at the W25 El Espinar/Segovia, Wednesday in Spain.
Their second-round match, held on Court 2 of the Complejo Deportivo Open Castilla y Leon, lasted 1 hour and 36 minutes.
Eala, the 17-year-old at a career-high WTA ranking of World No. 282, quickly advanced to 4-1 despite being broken in the opening game.
Following her love service break and love service hold, Eala broke serve after Zhu forced the fourth game to deuce.
The Filipino teen champion, who won the 2021 W15 Manacor and 2022 W25 Chiang Rai, then held serve at 40-30.
WTA World No. 532 Zhu won the next three games, all at 40-15, to level things at 4-4, with the 27-year-old American sealing the eighth game via an ace.
Eala held serve thereafter, 5-4, and earned three break points in the 10th game for a chance to take the set.
The Rafa Nadal Academy player secured the first set, 6-4, on her third set point.
In the second set, Eala notched a 4-1 lead, but not without a fight from Zhu.
They figured in a grueling second game that had nine deuces, two doubles faults and two aces from Zhu, and five break points for Eala, who finally broke on her fifth opportunity.
Zhu fought her way through to inch closer, 3-4, after Eala committed a double fault.
Eala easily broke back at 40-15 to serve for the match at 5-3, and in the ninth game down 15-30, she won the next three points, 6-3, to improve her head-to-head versus Zhu at 2-0.
They first clashed in April at the W25 Chiang Rai second leg in Thailand, where Eala won in straight sets.
Meanwhile, in the W25 El Espinar/Segovia quarterfinals, Eala will face No. 6 seed Rosa Vicens Mas of Spain, who is also at a career-high WTA ranking of World No. 285.
The 22-year-old Spaniard had straight-sets wins in the first two rounds of the $25,000 International Tennis Federation event, just like Eala.
In the opening round, Eala ousted 19-year-old Maria Bondarenko of Russia with the same score as her second-round win, 6-4, 6-3.