Alex Eala continued her winning ways after barging into the second round of the W80 Rancho Santa Fe International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament in California Wednesday, Oct. 5 (Thursday in Manila).

Alex Eala needs an extra set to beat her American foe in the W80 Rancho Santa Fe tournament. (File Photo from Alex Eala’s Facebook page)

Eala, who went through two qualifying rounds to book a main draw berth, recovered from a second-set hiccup and outlasted wildcard entry Dalayna Hewitt of the United States, 6-1, 2-6, 6-0.

The victory set the 17-year-old Filipina tennis sensation a meeting with Canadian Katherine Sebov, who pulled off a stunning 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 triumph over seventh seed and compatriot Carol Zhao.

This would be the second time that Eala and Sebov are facing each other in the ITF pro circuit.

Last June, the two players clashed in the semifinal of the W60 Madrid in Spain where Eala prevailed, 6-2, 6-1.

Eala hopes to duplicate this feat to earn a slot in the quarterfinals.

Sebov, 23, boasts of a higher ranking at No. 192 but has been searching for a follow up from her first pro title in the $60,000 Saguenay in Canada last 2018.

Eala, meanwhile, is ranked No. 288 and is looking for her third pro crown following victories in the W25 Chiang Rai last April and W15 Manacor last year.

She is also fresh from winning the 2022 US Open Girls Singles title.

Source: Manila Bulletin (