Filipino tennis star Alex Eala advanced to the third round of the International Tennis Federation (ITF)-sanctioned W60 Bellinzona tournament after defeating Laura Ioana-Paar of Romania, 6(6)-7, 6-1, 6-0, in a Wednesday evening match in Bellinzona, Switzerland.
After dropping a closely-fought first set against Paar, the teen Rafa Nadal Academy scholar and Globe ambassador dominated the higher-ranked Romanian in the next two sets by winning all but one game the rest of the way.
Eala came into the match ranked no. 715 in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) singles rankings compared to Paar’s no. 206 rank, yet she handily dispatched her opponent in two hours and 15 minutes. She also defeated the 32-year old Paar in the first round of the W25 Grenoble in February of this year.
The teen ace continued to impress in one of the biggest tournaments of her young career as she moved on to the Round of 16 in Bellinzona. She is set to face Swiss player Simona Waltert, against whom she split two recent meetings in Spain.
A Globe ambassador since 2013, Eala won her first-ever professional singles title in January when she ruled the 1st leg of the Rafa Nadal Academy ITF World Tennis Tour in Mallorca, Spain. She has steadily climbed the rankings since then as she joins more tournaments in the professional circuit.