Alex Eala survived a first-set scare and bested Canadian Katherine Sebov, 7-6 (5), 6-2, to barge in the quarterfinals of the W80 Rancho Santa Fe International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament in California Thursday, Oct. 6 (Friday in Manila).

Alex Eala advances to the quarterfinals after beating Canada’s Katherine Sebov. (Photo from Alex Eala’s Facebook page)

The 17-year-old Eala dug deep to outlast a resilient Sebov in the tiebreak before dominating the second frame to arrange a next meeting with Mexico’s Marcela Zacarias.

The unseeded Zacarias edged qualifier Hina Inoue of the United States, 6-1, 7-5.

Eala expects a tough meeting with the 28-year-old Zacarias, who has a higher ITF ranking at No. 229 and boasts of 16 ITF singles titles.

But the Mexican hasn’t won a crown since triumphing in the W15 Cancun in Mexico in 2019.

Zacarias is also coming off a quarters finish at the W60 Templeton in California last week where Eala only managed in the second round.

Eala, meanwhile, is expected to be pumped up after having to go through two qualifying matches to make it to the main draw.

So far, she has only dropped a set in her four matches – against American Dalayna Hewitt in the first round.

Source: Manila Bulletin (