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ITF: Alex Eala reaches first ever W80 semis


Alex Eala continues to slay the big guns.

It’s been just a day after defeating 32-year-old eighth seed and former world number 71 Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia. Now, the 17-year-old Filipina prodigy has taken down world number 154 Ana Konjuh of Croatia on Friday in the quarterfinals of the W80 Internationaux Feminins De La Vienne held in Poitiers, France.

Eala refused to feel awed by the 24-year-old Croatian, who formerly ranked 20th in the world.

Konjuh is a US Open quarterfinalist who has reached the 4th round of Wimbledon and the second round of both the Australian Open and the French Open. She was coming off a huge come-from-behind three-set victory over third seed Xinyu Wang of China in the second round on Thursday.

What was projected to be a dogfight turned out to be a lopsided affair.

Eala, the 2022 US Open girls’ singles champion, immediately made known she had bad intentions. She broke Konjuh in the second and eighth games, to easily pocket the opening set.

So dominant was Eala that not once did she face break point in the first set.

Konjuh finally tasted the lead for the first time when she broke Eala in the third game of the second set. Just when the Croatian probably thought she got herself back in the match, Eala broke right back to tie the count at 2-2.

Eala regained control of their quarterfinal encounter when she once again broke Konjuh in the seventh game to seize the lead which she never again relinquished.

The unseeded Eala had four service breaks in total against just one by Konjuh. The Filipina also converted 67 points as against just 51 scored by Konjuh.

#ReadMore  JRU survives San Sebastian in thriller to book playoff spot

In the semifinals on Saturday, Eala will be facing either seventh seed local bet and world number 95 Oceane Dodin of France or Belgium’s Ysaline Bonaventure who just the previous week made the finals of the W60 Hamburg in Germany.

Eala and Bonaventure faced each other in the second round of that tournament, with the 28-year-old Belgian prevailing in straight sets over Eala.

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