Alex Eala returned to court with a dominating first-round victory in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Women’s World Tennis Tour W15 Manacor event in Spain Wednesday night.
Eala blasted unseeded Spaniard Ana Lantigua de la Nuez, 6-0, 6-2, to jumpstart her second pro title bid in the third leg of the $15,0000 tournament hosted by the Rafa Nadal Academy.
De La Nuez, 20, boasts of a higher Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) ranking of No. 619 compared to Eala’s No. 942, but the Filipina ace appeared unfazed with her solid attacks.
The 15-year-old PH bet held her serve throughout the one hour, 27 minute match, breaking de la Nuez five times to set up a second-round duel with German qualifier Silvia Ambrosio.
Though ranked lower than Eala at No. 1125 in the WTA, Ambrosio is coming off a morale boosting 6-4, 6-3 upset win over top seed Margot Yerolymos of France.
The 24-year-old German has been threading through qualifying rounds since the first leg, this time surpassing her opening-round finish last week after going through three qualifying matches.
Eala, for her part, earned a main draw berth as a junior reserve.
She hopes to cap off the three-leg tournament on a big note after capturing her maiden pro title in the first leg two weeks ago.
She finished in the quarterfinals in the second leg and seeks to eclipse that previous performance this time.