Filipina tennis sensation and Globe ambassador Alex Eala posted a 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-3 win over Silvia Ambrosio of Germany to reach the quarterfinals of the 3rd leg of the Rafael Nadal Academy International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Tennis Tournament in Manacor, Spain.
The 15-year-old needed almost three hours to subdue her opponent who took out tournament top seed Margot Yerolymos of France in the opening round.
Down 3-5 in the opening set, Eala fought back and rallied to bring the match to a tiebreak, eventually taking the set at 7-6 (3).
The 24-year-old German, however, leaned on her experience to roar back in the match and limited Eala to just a game to tie the match.
In the decider, Eala raced to an early 4-0 lead over Ambrosio, ranked 1,125th in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and 586th. The lead proved too big to overcome for the German netter as she yielded the set and the match to Eala.
Eala, however, regained her wits in the third set to close out her match against Ambrosio in two hours and 48 minutes.
Earlier, Eala took out hometown favorite Ana Lantigua de la Nuez in straight sets 6-0, 6-2 to open her bid for another title in the tournament.
Eala, a Globe Ambassador since 2013 and Rafael Nadal Academy scholar since 2018, is coming off to her first-ever singles title in the ITF with a win in the first leg of the tournament. She is the first Filipina to win an ITF event since 2015.
Eala is looking to sustain her impressive run in the W15 Manacor circuit. She took home the title in the first leg to end the country’s title drought in ITF tournaments in six years and reached the quarterfinals of the second leg before losing to Swiss Ylena In-Albon.
Her breakthrough win in the opening leg of the Rafa Nadal Academy ITF World Tennis Tour catapulted the Filipina tennis sensation 942nd in the WTA world ranking.
Eala will face Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia for a spot in the semifinals.