Alex Eala routed by home bet in W25 Spain semis

Alex Eala at the W25 El Espinar/Segovia in Spain. Photo courtesy of Open Castilla y León Villa de El Espinar on Facebook
Alex Eala at the W25 El Espinar/Segovia in Spain. Photo courtesy of Open Castilla y León Villa de El Espinar on Facebook

MANILA – No. 4 seed Alex Eala of the Philippines missed the final of the W25 El Espinar/Segovia Spanish tournament after losing to No. 7 seed Eva Guerrero Alvarez of Spain, 2-6, 6-3, 2-6, in the semifinals on Friday. 

WTA World No. 282 Eala and WTA World No. 326 Guerrero Alvarez battled for nearly two hours at the Pista Pedro Muñoz outdoor hard court of Complejo Deportivo Open Castilla y Leon.

The 17-year-old Eala was broken thrice in the first set, while the 22-year-old Guerrero Alvarez yielded just one game.

The Spaniard produced two love service games: the first caused her 3-1 lead and the second capped off the opening set, 6-2, in 33 minutes.

Down a set and a break, Eala broke back and posted two consecutive love service holds to be at 3-2.

The Filipino advanced to 5-3 after converting her third break point, then successfully served for the second set, 6-3.

The deciding set became a lopsided affair as Guerrero Alvarez soared to 5-0 via another love service hold.

Eala answered back by holding serve to love in order to get on the scoreboard, 1-5. 

As Guerrero Alvarez was serving for the match, Eala saw off three match points and broke serve to trail at 2-5. 

In the next game, Guerrero Alvarez gained two additional match points courtesy of an Eala double fault, which was her sixth of the match.

The Spaniard broke on her fifth match point, 6-2, to catch up with Eala in their head-to-head, 1-1, as the Filipino won their first-round match in three sets at the W25 Corroios-Seixal in Portugal this month.

In the final, Guerrero Alvarez will face WTA World No. 612 Mirra Andreeva, the 15-year-old Russian qualifier who upset No. 5 seed Diana Marcinkevica of Latvia, 6-2, 6-2.

As for Eala, her Friday clash was her fourth semifinal of the year. She missed the final at last week’s W60 Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain, settled for a runner-up finish at the W60 Madrid, and bagged her second pro title at the W25 Chiang Rai in Thailand.

En route to the W25 El Espinar/Segovia semis, Eala knocked out Maria Bondarenko of Russia in the first round and Amy Zhu of the United States in the second round with the same 6-4, 6-3 score.

The 2021 W15 Manacor champion and Rafa Nadal Academy player went on to oust Spanish No. 6 seed Rosa Vicens Mas, 7-6(3), 7-6(4), in the quarterfinals of the $25,000 International Tennis Federation event.

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