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Belgian ace thwarts Eala

Alex Eala’s journey came to an end as she bowed to Ysaline Bonaventure of Belgium, 1-6, 6-3, 3-6, in the women’s singles event semifinals of the W80 Poitiers tourney at the Comité Départemental De Tennis De La Vienne in Poitiers, France Saturday evening (Manila time).

Eala, the 17-year-old US Open girls champion, held her ground for one hour and 17 minutes, but the older, more seasoned Belgian ace was too tough and too good to be denied.

It was Bonaventure’s second win over Eala.

The first time they clashed was in the W60 Hamburg tournament in Germany where Bonaventure, who ranks No. 105 in the Women’s Tennis Association rankings, sent Eala crashing out in the second round via a 6-4, 6-0 win on 20 October.

Still, it was an impressive run for Eala as she made it to the main draw of the Poitiers event after surviving the qualifying round.

She opened her campaign with a 6-1, 6-2 win over hometown bet Astrid Cirotte before booking a 6-1, 6-2 win over another French star Diana Martynov to barged into the main draw.

In the Round of 32, the Filipino scholar at the Rafael Nadal Tennis Academy registered a 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 win over Jessika Ponchet of France before taking down Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia, 6-4, 6-3, in the Round of 16.

She followed it up with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Ana Konjuh of Croatia before suffering a sorry loss to Bonaventure, a seasoned campaigner in Grand Slam events, in the Last Four.

Eala has yet to win her third professional title after her feats at W15 Manacor in Spain last year and the W25 Chiang Rai in Thailand last April.

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