Filipina tennis phenom Alex Eala put on a stunning display of grit as she pulled off a tough 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Romanian netter, Laura-Ioana Paar, in the first round of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) W25 Grenoble in France on Tuesday.
Pitted against a 32-year old powerhouse who already has 13 pro championships in her lengthy career, Eala faced a 0-2 deficit early in the first set but kept her composure to knot the game up at 3-3. She then scored three straight points to stunningly close out her opponent in the first canto.
The 15-year old tennis star then rode the momentum to surge ahead, 3-0, in the second set but Paar, who is 190th in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) singles rankings, did not back down and rallied to tie the second set up at 4-4. She then held serve and broke Eala’s to send the game to a rubbermatch.
The third set was closely fought with neither player giving an inch to the other. However, Eala kept her focus and broke Paar’s serve to grab the upper hand, 5-4, before capturing match point in thrilling fashion to end the match that lasted two hours and 18 minutes.
Next up for Eala in this $25,000 competition is the seventh-seeded Cristina Bucsa who defeated Martina Di Guiseppe of Italy, 6-4, 6-4. (JNP)