July 11, 2024

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Philippines tennis star Alex Eala reaches quarterfinals in ITF W75 Porto in Portugal

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ALEX EALA REACHES QUARTERS. Alex Eala of the Philippines secures a spot in the quarterfinals of the ITF W75 Porto in Portugal by beating eighth seed Katarina Zavatska of Ukraine with a commanding 6-0, 6-3 on Thursday, February 22. ALEX EALA FACEBOOK PHOTO

Alex Eala of the Philippines surged into the quarterfinals of the ITF W75 Porto in Portugal, securing a notable victory against eighth seed Katarina Zavatska of Ukraine with a commanding 6-0, 6-3 triumph on Thursday, February 22. Eala’s stellar performance sets the stage for a compelling quarterfinal clash against Hungary’s Anna Bondar.

The upcoming match carries an additional layer of significance for Eala, as it presents an opportunity for redemption against Bondar, who previously handed the Filipina teen the most lopsided loss of her professional career. In a previous encounter, Bondar demonstrated her top form, dealing Eala a double bagel with a 6-0, 6-0 victory. However, Eala, fresh off her ITF W25 Chiang Rai crown in Thailand, aims to showcase her growth and resilience on the court.

The path to the quarterfinals was paved with Eala’s exceptional performance against Zavatska, a player with a previous ranking of 103 in the world and appearances in the main draw of prestigious events like the French Open and the US Open. 

In a swift 20 minutes, Eala dominated the first set, breaking Zavatska three times and limiting her opponent to a mere 5 points.

While the second set witnessed a more competitive exchange of service breaks, Eala, displaying her relentless drive, surged ahead after a 3-3 tie. The Filipina phenom closed the second set decisively, winning the match in an impressive hour and 14 minutes.

With this victory, Eala now has the chance to avenge her earlier defeat to Bondar. The highly anticipated showdown is set for Friday, February 23, at the Complexo de Ténis de Monte Aventino in Porto, with the winner earning a coveted spot in the semifinals.

Eala’s remarkable form in Porto is evident, having secured straight-set victories in the first two rounds. On the other hand, Bondar, the second seed, displayed resilience in her previous match, coming back from a set down to overcome Sinja Kraus of Switzerland, who retired after the second game of the third set.

Bondar, at 26 years old, boasts a wealth of experience, including a WTA singles title and participation in all Grand Slam events. Notably, she advanced to the second round of the 2023 Australian Open. The clash between Eala’s youthful vigor and Bondar’s seasoned expertise promises an enthralling encounter.

While Eala’s singles journey unfolds, she also engaged in doubles action on Thursday alongside Ali Collins of Great Britain. However, they faced a formidable challenge, falling to the second-seeded duo of Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany and Alicia Barnett of Great Britain with a scoreline of 6-3, 6-4. Despite the setback in doubles, Eala remains focused on her singles campaign, determined to make a lasting impact in Porto.

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