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(C) Alex Eala

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ITF: Alex Eala stages huge comeback, punches QF ticket in W60 Madrid tourney


Alex Eala staged one of the most scintillating rallies of her young career as she came back from a set down and a game away from elimination in the third set to overcome old rival and seventh seed Yvonne Cavalle-Reimers 0-6, 6-2, 7-5 in the Round of 16 of the W60 VIII Open ITF Arcardis Brezo Osuna in Madrid, Spain

Eala won her first career pro title when she beat Cavalle-Reimers in the finals of an ITF W15 tournament in Manacor, Spain in 2021. The 30-year-old Spaniard was obviously seeking some payback, and it showed in how she dominated the opening set where she blanked and totally overwhelmed Eala.

The 17-year-old Filipina showed her spirit was not deflated despite the first set wipeout as she broke Cavalle-Reimers twice in the second set to extend the match to a decider.

Eala’s momentum, however, was stymied in the third set as she found herself down early at 0-2. She fought back to tie the count at 2-2, only to drop her serve again in the 5th game which allowed Cavalle-Reimers to regain control of the match on her serve to extend her lead to 2-4.

Eala could have faced an insurmountable deficit had she given up the 7th game, but she dug deep to save a break point and hold serve to inch closer, 3-4.

Although Eala could not tie the count in the eight game which saw Cavalle-Reimers up her lead anew at three games to five, the Filipina teen star racked up the next four games as she held her last two serves and broke her Spanish foe’s serve twice to end the match.

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Eala, ranked 413th in the world, will be up against another tough opponent in the quarterfinals of the $60,000 event. She will be playing third seeded Jaimee Fourlis, a 22-year-old Australian who is ranked 182nd in the world.

Meanwhile, in Italy, recent SEA Games gold medalist Treat Huey and partner Franko Skugor of Croatia crashed out in the quarterfinals of the Emilia-Romagna Tennis Cup.

The two fell to Italian Luciano Darderi and Brazilian Fernando Romboli, 7-5, 3-6, 7-10, in the $125,000 ATP Challenger event.

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