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Alex Eala wins WTA 250 first spherical

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Alex Eala

FILE – Alex Eala of Philippines trains during the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium on March 24, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

Alex Eala made a dazzling debut of the big-money tournaments Tuesday. But things could only get tougher from that point on.

The Philippines’ top tennis hope is facing an Egyptian tour mainstay who toppled the No. 1 seed in the tournament.

Gaining a wild card in the Winners Open-WTA 250 Romania, Eala is once again among the big girls of the sport, chasing bigger ranking points and cash prizes that totaled at least $250,000.

She opened with a 7-5, 6-2 triumph over qualifier Paula Ormaechea of Argentina. The 16-year-old lefty refused to get intimidated with the 28-year-old Ormaechea who had 15 ITF singles titles already.

So happy to have won my debut match at a WTA250 Tournament, The Winners Open.

Posted by Alex Eala on Tuesday, August 3, 2021

“So happy to have won my debut match at a WTA 250 tournament,” wrote Eala on her Facebook page.

She didn’t get to celebrate long because standing in her way is Mayar Sherif who toppled No. 1 seed Alize Cornet of France, 6-2, 6-4, in the opening round.

Fresh from her Tokyo Olympics stint, Sherif, 25, is fast-rising clay specialist who is ranked 119 in the world.

Her upset win over the 31-year-old Cornet, who was once ranked No. 11 in the world, easily made her the favourite in their Round of 16 match on Thursday.

But she will face a young upstart with nothing to lose and everything to gain. Eala is hoping to improve on her current 639th ranking in the hope to gain access to more lucrative tournaments in the tour.

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