ALEX Eala edged Spanish Cristina Busca, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(8), in a grueling extended match to secure a quarterfinal slot in the International Tennis Federation W25 Grenoble Thursday night in Grenoble, France.
Eala rallied from a set down as the 23-year-old foe established a strong start taking the first set swiftly. Busca is the seventh-seed in the tournament and is ranked 164th in Womens Tennis Association.
The Filipina ace however established her momentum mid-second set, sustained her pace until the end (6-3) to force yet another decider with the Spain bet, who already has four pro titles under her belt.
The final set saw a see-saw of scoring exchange between the two, tying the game in several deuces at 6(8)-6(8), before Alex eventually took over the match that lasted for two hours and 33 minutes.
In her previous match in the first round, the 15-year-old also squeaked past Romanian Laura Loana Paar in three sets.
Eala, who’s currently ranked 903rd in the WTA, is now on her fourth straight pro contest this year, after her stint at the three-week W15 Manacor last January, where she won her maiden title in the Womens Singles.
This tournament, however, is her first $25,000 for this year as she is allowed to join two more of the same type and two of $60,000. This is an opportunity she earned after finishing as one of the top players in the Juniors last year.
Bound for the Round of 8, Eala awaits her next contender between Poland’s Maja Chwalinska and home bet Gaelle Desperrier.