Alex Eala ousts seventh-seed Cristina Bucsa in France

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Young Filipina tennis star Alex Eala once again showed incredible composure beyond her years as she bucked a slow start before turning it on late to down the seventh-seed, Cristina Bucsa of Spain, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6, in the second round of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) W25 Grenoble in France on Thursday.

The win propelled Eala into the quarterfinals of this $25,000 professional tournament. She will face off against Maja Chwalinska of Poland who took down home bet Gaelle Desperrier, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Eala got off to a shaky start in the first as the 23-year old Bucsa, the 164th-ranked player in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) singles rankings, rattled off four straight points to shatter a two-all deadlock and win the first set, 6-2.

The 15-year old Eala, who is no. 903 on the WTA rankings, refused to back down and ran off to a 4-1 lead in the second set. Bucsa rallied by breaking Eala’s serve and holding her own to pull to 4-3, but the Filipina ace responded with two straight points to capture the second set and send the contest to a rubbermatch.

The two were neck and neck in the third and final set and remained even at 6-6 to send the game to a tiebreaker. There, Eala had to endure a couple of matchpoints from Bucsa before finally vanquishing her Spanish rival, 10-8, to take the last set, 7-6. (JNP)