Young Filipina tennis ace Alex Eala emerged victorious at the start of the W60 Bellinzona as she eliminated her French adversary Margot Yerolymos in straight sets, 7-6 (8-6), 6-2, on Tuesday night in Bellinzona, Switzerland.
The 15-year old Rafa Nadal Academy scholar met some tough resistance from Yerolymos—who is ranked no. 323 in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) singles rankings—in the first set, but ultimately powered through in the tiebreaker.
Eala, who came into the tournament with a career-high ranking of no. 715 in the WTA singles ladder, then got off to a fast start in the second set and did not take her foot off the gas pedal to ultimately capture the set and wrap up the match in two hours and two minutes.
Yerolymos struck hard early in the first set as she zoomed off to a 3-1 lead but Eala kept her composure and tied it all up at 3-3. The set went to a tie-breaker where Eala squeaked past Yerolymos, 8-6, to win the first.
The second set was all-Eala as she surged in front, 3-0. Yerolymos crept to 2-3 but Eala kept the pressure on and captured the next three games to finish off her opponent and claim the hard-fought victory.
Next up for Eala is an opponent she is quite familiar with in Romanian netter and the tournament’s 12th seed, Laura-Ioana Paar. The two have already clashed before, having met in the first round of the W25 Grenoble back in February where the Filipina youngster eliminated the 32-year old in a thrilling three-set encounter, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. (JNP)