Eala reigns supreme in Phinma-PSC Int’l Junior Tennis tilt

ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 18, 2018 06:07 PM
Eala reigns supreme in Phinma-PSC Int’l Junior Tennis tilt
Phinma-PSC International Tennis Junior Championships singles champion Alex Eala is flanked by (from left) Romeo Magat of Philippine Tennis Association, Oscar Hilado of Phinma Properties and Derek Santos of Manila Polo Club.

Filipina pride Alex Eala displayed the brand of tennis beyond her years to defeat Canada’s Dasha Plekhanova, 6-4, 6-2, Sunday and capture the girls singles title of the Phinma-PSC International Junior Tennis Championships at Manila Polo Club.

Only 13-years old, Eala made clever use of the slow, slipper clay courts to dismantle Plekhanova who beat her in two previous tournaments.

It was the second ITF title this year for Eala who is enrolled at Rafael Nadal Academy in Mallorca, Spain. She captured the I Trofeo David Ferrer, both singles and doubles, two weeks ago in Spain.

Her father, Mike Eala, said the eighth-grader showed remarkable improvement since Plekhanova ousted her in the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl, two ITF Grade A tournaments for junior players played in the United States.

Eala, who is attending the American International School inside the RNA, will see action in Week 2 of the Grade 4 tourney sponsored by the Philippine Tennis Association, Philippine Sports Commission, Phinma and Tecnifibre.

Seeded eighth, Eala made the finals after disposing of sixth-ranked Fang Wei-ning of Chinese Taipei (6-3, 6-1). But it was in the second round and quarterfinals that really tested the youngster’s mental toughness.

Eala raced from losing the first set to defeat Matsuda (4-6, 6-4, 6-3) in the second round before engaging in another three-setter in the quarters, besting Taiwanese Lin Yu-yun (6-1, 4-6, 6-3).

In boys’ division, Indian Mann Shah turned back third seed Fumiya Yoshino of Japan, 6-1, 7-6 (5), to claim the title.

Yoshino and Tom Evans of Australia banded together to annex the boys doubles at the expense of Filipinos Arthur Craig Pantino and Justin Suarez.

Pantino, last year’s champ, fell to Yoshino in the boys singles semifinals (2-6, 6-4, 6-3).

Indonesian Janice Tjen and Taiwanese Wang Chan-yi downed Kokomi Koyama and Erika Matsuda of Japan, 6-0, 7-6 (2) to pick up the girls doubles crown.

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