ALEX Eala overcame Spain’s Alba Carrillo Marin in a tense match, 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, to open her singles tiff in the W25 Platja D’Aro International Tennis Federation tournament in Spain, on Thursday morning (Manila Time).
The match was a grueling three-setter, with the game clocking in at a total of 3 hours and 9 minutes.
Down by two points, Eala was quick to even out the game at 2-2, before she stole the first set at 6-3. Her 25-year-old opponent, however, rallied back in the second for a deuce, 5-7.
In the decider, Marin, WTA no. 550, lead up to 4-3 before the Filipina turned the tables around to tie the score at 4-4, then eventually took over at 7-5.
The match put their head-to-head record at 3-0. They first faced each other in W15 Castellon in 2020, then in W15 Manacor last January where Alex, WTA no. 660, won her maiden singles pro title.
The juniors world no. 3 now moves round of 16, taking on Irene Burillo Escorihuela of Spain in the second round of the $25,000 tourney.
Alongside the singles main draw, Alex is also moving through the doubles with partner Russian Oksana Selekhmeteva. They’re now in the quarterfinals, and will battle tournament top seed Russian pair this Thursday night.
The Australian Open juniors champ is still looking to clinch her second pro title in the singles and her first in the doubles.
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