Filipina tennis ace Alex Eala ousted Spanish rival Alba Carrillo Marin in an exciting three-set match, 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, in the opening round of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Tennis Tour W25 Platja D'Aro in Spain on Wednesday night.
It was a back-and-forth clash that saw both players show their familiarity with one another after already meeting twice in the pro circuit. However, it was the Filipina powerhouse that claimed the victory in three hours and nine minutes to nab a spot in the second round where she will face off against another Spaniard in Irene Burillo Escorihuela, who is the no. 265 ranked player in the Women’s Tennis Association singles rankings.
The opening set saw Marin go in front, 2-0, but Eala responded by winning five of the next six games to move to the cusp of capturing the first set at 5-3. Despite Marin’s best efforts to stay alive in the first set, Eala was able to close it out, 6-3, thanks to a powerful backhand shot.
Marin, though, was resilient as she began the second set much in the same way that she started the first, moving in front, 3-1. But the tough Eala came back once again and knotted things up at 4-4. After both players held serve in the next two games, Marin broke through and claimed the second set, 7-5, to send the match to a deciding third set.
The final set stayed tied at 5-5 until Eala found her second wind, breaking Marin’s serve to move ahead, 6-5, before winning the final game to put the match on ice, 7-5.
Eala is looking to clinch her second professional title after she opened this year with a title in in the first leg of the W15 Manacor back in January. (JNP)