Eala smashes Sebov, enters quarters

Alex Eala slammed Canadian Katherine Sebov, 7-6, 6-2, in the second round of the W80 Rancho Santa Fe yesterday at the Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club in California.

The victory set Eala up for a quarterfinal showdown with Marcela Zacarias of Mexico, who earned a berth into the next round after dumping Ina Inoue of the United States, 6-1, 7-5.

But the win by Eala wasn’t handed on a silver platter as the US Open girls champion needed two hours and 12 minutes to repulse Sebov, who had a ranking of world No. 280, just a notch better than Eala.

She kicked off her campaign in the main draw with a 6-1, 2-6, 6-0 conquest of Dalayna Hewitt of the United States after taking out Deniza Marcinkeva of Latvia and Alana Smith of the US in the qualifying.

“Amazing match in my first W80k Tournament here at the RSF Open. Thank you to all who cheered in person… and virtually. Tomorrow, QUARTER FINALS! Laban! Vamos! Allez!,” Eala, 17, said in a social media post.

Zacarias is No. 229 in the WTA rankings so Eala will have her hands full in her next assignment.

In a previous report, Eala said she is aiming for Olympic glory, saying that playing tennis in the biggest sporting event in the world is something different.

“To be No. 1, win some Grand Slams, but of course, also to win the Olympics is a huge thing. After Hidilyn’s win, you know, it’s very inspiring to so many athletes and to so many Filipinos,” she said when asked about her goals.

“The Olympics is a very unique experience. It’s different from all the other tennis tournaments that you get. I don’t know how to explain it, I think that it’s more for your country than for yourself.”

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