VENGEFUL Alex M. Eala bamboozled Chile’s Jimar Geraldine Gerald Gonzalez with an easy 6-2, 6-0 first-round win in the W25 Palma del Rio in Spain to set the tone in her redemption bid after a title miss last time.
After settling for bridesmaid finish in the W60 Madrid 10 days ago, Ms. Eala vented her ire on Ms. Gonzales by ending the match in only 56 minutes to advance to the second round against either Valeria Savinykh or Jessica Ponchet.
In the doubles play, Ms. Eala and home bet Marina Bassols Ribera blanked the Spanish pair of Adriana Cortes and Patricia Rodriguez Carretero, 6-0, 6-0, to barge into the quarterfinals.
Ms. Ribera, ironically, was Ms. Eala’s tormentor in the W60 Madrid finals after scoring a 6-4, 7-5 win to deny the latter her third professional title.
Joining forces now, the fourth-seeded duo will shoot for a Final Four ticket against Spain’s Marta Huqi Gonzales Encinas and the United States’ Ashley Lahey, who trounced Spain’s Ariana Geerlings and Estonia’s Elizabeth Jurna, 6-3, 6-2.
Prior to the W25 Palma del Rio stint, Ms. Eala this week reached a new-career best ranking in the Women’s Tennis Association at No. 337 from No. 340 for an added motivation in a goal to win another pro title. — John Bryan Ulanday