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(C) Alex Eala


Alex Eala emerges champion of ITF W25 Yecla

Alex Eala put an end to the giant-killing ways of Valentina Ryser of Switzerland as the Filipina teen star clinched their final encounter in a swift and methodical fashion, winning 6-3, 7-5, to capture the I Open Internacional Feminine held at the Yecla Club de Tenis Court 1 in Fuenteálamo, Spain on Sunday.

Eala, the second seed in the $25,000 International Tennis Federation (ITF) event, remained sharp throughout the match to avoid falling victim to an upset by Ryser.

The 22-year-old Swiss had been on a tear all week, defeating the number one seed Sakura Hosogi of Japan in the second quarter round, seventh seed Lucia Cortez Llorca of Spain in the quarterfinals, and fourth-seeded Spaniard Eva Guerrero Alvarez in the semifinals.

However, Ryser soon realized that Eala was a different opponent altogether. The 18-year-old Filipina quickly took a 3-0 lead in the first set and maintained control, finishing the opening set 6-3.

Eala, the 2022 US Open girls’ singles champion, continued to assert herself in the second set, breaking Ryser’s serve at the start. After Eala built a 2-0 lead, Ryser fought back and broke serve to level the score at 2-2. Following an exchange of service breaks, Ryser gained her first lead at 4-3.

But Eala swiftly dismissed any hopes Ryser had of extending the match to a deciding third set. The Filipina tennis ace regained the lead at 6-5 after breaking Ryser for the fifth time in the match. Eala then completed her straight-set victory by serving out the 12th game, winning 7-5.

This marks Eala’s third singles title on the pro circuit. She won her first title at the ITF W15 Manacor in Spain in 2021 and her second championship at the ITF W25 Chiang Rai in Thailand in 2022.

#ReadMore  Alex Eala grateful for ITF Manacor experience

She is set to return to action next week when she participates in the ITF W25 Madrid in Spain.

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