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Eala in semis

Ian Suyu



Alex Eala extended her fiery streak, clinching her first-ever professional semifinals slot in the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) W15 Manacor early Saturday.

Ranked world No. 3 in the ITF Juniors, the 15-year old endured a thrilling three-hour showdown against French netter Carole Monnet en route to a 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 win to set up a date with Hong Kong’s Adithya Karunaratne being played at press time.

Armed with an intense training stint in the Rafael Nadal Academy in Mallorca, Spain, Eala started her campaign by smashing her way past Seone Mendez of Australia and Anna Paradisi of Italy in the opening rounds.

Still, it won’t be an easy assignment to beat the 19-year-old Karunaratne, who booked her semis ticket after crushing Emiliana Arango of Columbia, 6-2, 6-3, in the quarterfinals.

But with a chance to surpass her historic semifinals stint in the prestigious French Juniors Open last year, Eala’s father, Mike, is confident that the Filipina talent would be able to recover from her previous match and sustain her momentum.