Alex Eala edges Spaniard foe, books semifinal spot

Alex Eala edged Spaniard opponent Rosa Vicens Mas to barge into the semifinal of the W25 El Espinar/Segovia International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament in Spain Thursday, July 28.

Alex Eala (Photo from Alex Eala's Facebook page)

Eala survived two hours and 19 minutes of duel against Vicens Mas to score a tight 7-6(3), 7-6(4) win.

The 17-year-old Filipina netter, seeded fourth in the tournament, sets up another battle with a Spaniard in Eva Guerrero Alvarez, who defeated Flavie Brugnone of France, 6-4, 6-2, in another quarterfinal showdown.

Despite leading 5-3 early in the first set, Eala gave up three straight games and enabled Vicens Mas to take the lead at 6-5.

The Filipina tennis sensation recovered and equalized at 6-6 before stepping on the gas in the 13th game to take the first set.

The second canto also saw and nip-and-tuck affair as Vicens Mas trailed midway before settling for a 6-6 deadlock in the 12th Game.

Vicens Mas led 4-1 in the tie break first but a double fault proved to be costly for the Spaniard as Eala zoomed in with five straight points, including an ace, for the win.

Eala earlier beat Maria Bondarenko and Amy Zhu in the first and second rounds, respectively, before clinching a quarterfinal spot.

Eala aims for her second title and third overall since winning the W25 Chiang Rai in Thailand last April.

Meanwhile, Latvia's Diana Marcinkevica, seeded fifth, takes on Mirra Andreeva in another semifinal matchup.