Alex Eala went through the wringer once more to take her second straight win, beating Cristina Bucsa, 2-6, 6, 7-6(8), in the Round of 16 of the 2021 ITF Women’s World Tour in Granable, France, Thursday evening (Philippine time).
The Leg 1 Manacor tournament champion once more showed her resilience and might to eventually finish the match on the tiebreaker. She won it on a service break at 10-8, finally ending the two-hour-and-33-minute match.
Eala picked up where she left off and took the opening game to love at the start of the deciding set. She then consolidated her break, turning a 2-3 deficit into a 4-3 lead.
This win followed up on the 15-year-old’s first match in this Olympic city, where she also needed a two-hour marathon past Romania’s Laura Ioana Paar, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
It was a neck-and-neck battle at the start of the match as the first set went on serve until the fifth game. Bucsa took advantage of her first break point of the match to eventually take the 4-2 lead that she held on for the set advantage.
Eala actually threatened a 5-1 lead in the second set and was two points from doing so. The Spaniard then uncorked eight unanswered points and instead cut the deficit to one at 3-4.
Nonetheless, the young Filipina got her groove back and her hits came through. She ultimately held serve, consolidated it with a break, and got the set by forcing a decider at 6-3.
Eala will take on the winner of the match between Maja Chwalinska of Poland and Gaelle Desperrier of France in the quarterfinals.