Filipino tennis prodigy Alex Eala, fresh off her graduation from the esteemed Rafa Nadal Academy, teamed up with Indonesian partner Beatrice Gumulaya to compete in the Open Villa De Tauste-Tomas Arrieta and Altra Logistica in Spain. Unfortunately, their journey came to an end in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Facing off against the formidable duo of Australia’s Alana Parnaby and Mexico’s Victoria Rodriguez, Eala and Gumulaya put up a valiant fight. The match was filled with intense rallies and impressive shot-making, keeping the crowd on the edge of their seats.
The Filipino-Indonesian tandem started strong, clinching the first set with a score of 6-4. Energized by their early success, Eala and Gumulaya entered the second set with confidence, hoping to maintain their momentum. However, Parnaby and Rodriguez refused to back down, mounting a relentless comeback in the middle of the set.
Despite initially securing a 3-1 lead in the second set, Eala and Gumulaya were unable to maintain their advantage. Parnaby and Rodriguez showcased their tenacity, staging an impressive comeback and securing five consecutive games to claim the set 6-3. From that point onward, the Filipino-Indonesian pair struggled to regain control of the match.
Throughout the quarterfinal encounter, both teams displayed their exceptional skills and competitive spirit. However, it was Parnaby and Rodriguez who ultimately emerged victorious, triumphing over Eala and Gumulaya in the deciding super-tiebreak with a score of 10-6. Despite the loss, Eala and Gumulaya showcased their potential as a formidable doubles team, leaving a lasting impression on the tournament.
Before their doubles campaign, Eala experienced a challenging run in the singles competition. Seeded third, the young Filipino talent faced a tough opponent in the form of Australia’s Destanee Aiava. Aiava, with her wealth of experience and impressive track record in major tournaments, proved to be a formidable adversary as she outclassed Eala, 6-1, 6-2 on Tuesday, June 20 .
From the outset, Aiava asserted her dominance, displaying her powerful groundstrokes and relentless aggression. Eala struggled to find her rhythm, and Aiava capitalized on the opportunity, breaking her opponent twice to claim the opening set with a convincing 6-1 scoreline.
The second set followed a similar pattern, with Aiava maintaining her high level of play and putting pressure on Eala. Despite the Filipino’s determination, Aiava proved too strong, ultimately securing a 6-2 victory to advance to the next round.
While Eala’s singles journey in Spain may have ended sooner than she had hoped, she found solace in the doubles competition. Teaming up with Gumulaya, Eala displayed her versatility and resilience, delivering impressive performances that showcased her potential as a rising star in the doubles circuit.
Although the young tennis phenom faced setbacks in both singles and doubles, her passion for the sport remains unwavering. Eala will undoubtedly learn from these experiences, using them as fuel to propel herself to greater heights in her future endeavors on the international tennis stage.