By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Filipina tennis sensation Alex Eala is back in her busy playing calendar and is off to a hot start in the ongoing Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Jasmin Open held in Monastir, Tunisia.
Eala took care of her business in the first two rounds, outdueling Elsa Jacquemot in the qualifying, 6-1, 5-7, 6-1, and took down Feryel Ben Hassen in the second round, 6-1, 6-0.
It was a tough outing against Jacquemot as Eala had to grind her way out in three sets. Despite suffering a disappointing loss in the second set that leveled the match at 1-1, the Filipina ace put on a dominant closing set to wrap up her first test.
Eala was impressive from the get-go, punishing Jacquemot with her heavy forehand groundstrokes while pummeling her in the several baseline exchanges to swell her lead in the first set.
However, Jacquemot bounced back in the tightly contested second set, shifting gears midway through the frame after deciding to attack the net and pressure Eala to throw lobs and down-the-line shots.
Eala then quickly redeemed herself in the third and final set and stuck to her game plan, dictating the pace in the baseline and neutralizing Jacquemot’s ability to attack the no man’s land.
It was a walk in the park against Hassen as Eala only needed 40 minutes to dispatch the Tunisian home bet.
Despite Hassen’s strong baseline game, Eala was able to contain her strength and matched fire with fire.
From her signature down-the-line shots to her cross-court killers, Eala displayed her deep offensive bag against the Tunisian and only allowed one game-set victory.
Up next for Eala in the Round of 32 is Elise Mertens, a star from Belgium who is a former world no. 1 in the WTA doubles category.