ALEX Eala marched on to the next round of the W80 Poitiers in France, netting twin victories over fancied counterparts in both the singles and doubles play.
Ms. Eala and Croatian partner Petra Marcinko score a 6-2, 6-3 sweep of Yuliya Hatouka and Iryna Shymanovich from Belarus to advance to the quarterfinals against Czech Republic’s Miriam Kolodziejova and Marketa Vondrousova.
The Czech tandem earned a first-round bye as the No. 3 seed in the doubles division of the $80,000 French tilt.
In the singles play, Ms. Eala hacked out a gutsy 6-2, 5-7, 7-6(6) win over home bet Jessika Ponchet to barge into the Round of 16.
The 17-year-old wunderkind wasted a 4-2 lead in the second set for a foiled sweep but made up for it with a comeback of her own from a 5-6 deficit in the tiebreaker to finally get the better of her French rival.
It’s the first win of Ms. Eala, WTA No. 248, over the 26-year-old and WTA No. 161 Ponchet after losses in the W60 Vitoria-Gasteiz and W25 Palma del Rio in Spain this year.
Ms. Eala will face the winner between France’s Marine Partaud and Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia for a seat in the quarterfinals.
The Filipina pride came all the way from the qualifiers with wins against French aces Diana Martynov and Astrid Cirotte just to make it to the main draw.
A scholar of the Rafael Nadal Academy in Spain, Ms. Eala is out to clinch her third title in the women’s pro circuit riding on the heels of a historic US Open junior championship. — John Bryan Ulanday