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Alex Eala nails first women’s pro title

Ian Suyu



(Photo courtesy of Rafa Nadal Tennis Academy)

Filipina teen netter Alex Eala rallied from a set down to beat veteran local bet Yvonne Cavalle-Reimers, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2, to rule the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) W15 Tournament in Manacor, Spain for her first pro title on Sunday.

Just less than 24 hours after hurdling semifinal opponent Adithya Karunaratne of Hong Kong, the 15-year old tennis star displayed another outstanding performance to pull off an upset for a memorable first conquest in the pro ranks.

Age disadvantage proved to be a non-factor as Eala played with a fiery game despite an early setback against the 28-year old Reimers, who is ranked at No. 132 in singles.

Eala, who just turned professional last year, is seated at No. 1,651 in the world rankings.

Armed with her training from Rafa Nadal Academy in Spain, Eala tallied a 60 percent advantage in breakpoints alongside a 43-to-26 service points edge against Reimers.

Eala stormed back from a tight opening set defeat with a stunning 6-1 fightback in second frame to turn the table around.

Fueled by the momentum of her second set domination, the Filipina broke the game wide-open in the deciding frame to spoil Reimer’s quest for a seventh ITF title.

Aiming to gain a strong start in her pandemic-laden season, Eala started out hot in the tournament with dominating victories over much more experienced netters in Seone Mendez of Australia and Anna Paradisi of Italy in the opening rounds, before hammering French campaigner Carole Monet in the quarterfinal.

Just a year ago, Eala already made history by winning the Australian Open girls’ doubles title with Indonesian partner Priska Nugroho.