By NIKOLE JAVIER
Alex Eala marched into the semifinals of the W80 Poitiers tournament in France after disposing of Ana Konjuh of Croatia, 6-2, 6-3, on Friday, Oct. 28.
After taking down Russian Vitalia Diatchenko the other day, 6-4, 6-3, the 17-year-old Filipina remained as the last standing qualifier in the $80,000 tournament after sweeping Konjuh to advance into the next round.
Konjuh, who is seven years her senior, ranked No. 20 in 2017 and was also a US Open juniors singles champion in 2013.
However, the recently crowned junior sensation in September unwrapped the hostilities with a 3-0 lead after another love hold to get herself fired up. Eala then successfully returned a netted backhand service followed by a break point to take the first set at 6-2.
The ensuing set took a little longer for the Filipina ace to wrap up that saw Konjuh fight hard to level the game at 3-3 where she then needed four break points to put herself ahead at 4-3.
From then on until her second match point at 40-30, Eala didn’t wait for Konjuh to force a deuce with a strong serve which the Croatian couldn’t keep in play.
The Rafa Nadal Academy scholar is set to face Belgium’s Ysaline Bonaventure, the WTA world No. 105 player who booted her out of the W60 Hamburg in the second round last week in Germany.