MANILA, Philippines—Alex Eala edged out No.3 seed Arianne Hartono of the Netherlands to prevail in a grueling match with a 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-1 victory to enter the W25 Roehampton final on Saturday in Great Britain. .
A lackluster loss in the second set, including a play interrupted due to gloomy weather, couldn’t stop the 18-year-old Eala, who mustered her courage in the decisive third set to eliminate Hartono in the two-hour, 32-minute semifinal. . and making his second appearance in a championship match this year.
Eala, who is currently ranked number 250 in the Women’s Tennis Association, she battles second seed and world No.166 Arina Rodionova of Australia on Sunday night.
Rodionova defeated the fourth seed posted at home, Yuriko Lily Miyazaki, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, in their semifinal matchup.
“I’m so excited to be in my second final of the year and my first final here in London!” Eala posted on Facebook.
The 27-year-old Dutchwoman kept her momentum going in the second set with a 4-1 start amid suspension of play to force a decider, rallying from the first frame where she squandered a 4-2 extension lead due to her mistakes
But the No.6-seeded Filipino came out firing in the decider pulling away from a slim 2-1 lead by winning four straight games to earn a shot at her fourth International Tennis Federation crown.
Eala, the first Filipina to win a Grand Slam singles title, is seeking her fourth professional crown after ruling the W25 Yecla in Spain this year and winning her first two championships at the W15 Manacor in 2021 and the W25 Chiang Rai last year.
Academy graduate Rafael Nadal began her campaign by beating Australian neters in the first two rounds with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over qualifier Gabriella Da Silva Fick followed by a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 she defeated her doubles partner, Destanee Aiava in the second round.
Eala upset No.1 seed Priscilla Hon, 6-2, 6-4, in the quarterfinals of the $25,000 tournament.
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