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Tennis: Eala, Palicova Edged by 4th Seeds in Switzerland



MANILA – Alex Eala of the Philippines and Barbora Palicova of Czech Republic were on the verge of causing an upset in the first round of the W60 Chiasso on Tuesday, but the teenagers fell to the Swiss tournament’s No. 4 seeds in the super tiebreak. 

After saving three match points and gaining one match point, Eala and Palicova yielded to Indonesian Beatrice Gumulya and Czech Anna Siskova, 3-6, 6-4, 11-13, at the outdoor clay court of Tennis Club Chiasso.

Eala, 17, and Palicova, 19, were unable to convert four break points in the sixth game, and were broken by their more experienced foes in the following game to be at 3-4.

Gumulya and Siskova held serve to love, then forced the ninth game to 40-40 before claiming the first set with another service break, 6-3.

The Indonesian-Czech tandem went on to take a 2-0 lead in the second set, and the Filipino and Czech responded by winning the next four games to be at 4-2.

Eala and Palicova saved two break points to extend their lead to 5-3, and fended off another break point opportunity at 40-40 while serving for the set at 5-4.

After the second set went to the teenagers, 6-4, the 10-point match tiebreak commenced with Gumulya and Siskova quickly securing a 3-1 lead. 

Eala and Palicova caught up at 3-3, and the tiebreak became a very close fight. 

Gumulya and Siskova gained three match points at 9-7, and their teenage opponents fought them off until they got their lone match point at 11-10.

After two mini-breaks, Gumulya and Siskova earned their fourth match point and claimed the hard-fought victory, 13-11, to enter the quarterfinals of the $60,000 ITF event.

Alex Eala at the 2023 Miami Open. Photo from Alex Eala's Instagram page
Alex Eala at the 2023 Miami Open. Photo from Alex Eala’s Instagram page

In the singles draw, the reigning US Open Juniors singles champion Eala will play against 32-year-old Alexandra Cadantu-Ignatik of Romania in the opening round.

Eala, the WTA World No. 215 with two ITF singles titles, reached her career-best ranking of 214 in October.

The 11-time ITF singles winner Ignatik, who is ranked 217th in the world, peaked at No. 59 in 2014.

The Eala-Ignatik match is scheduled third on Court 3 on Wednesday. 

Whoever wins will face either No. 7 seed Elena-Gabriela Ruse of Romania or wildcard Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, the former World No. 3, in the second round. 

The W60 Chiasso, also called Axion Open by Rado, runs until Sunday.

Source: ABS CBN News

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