Wed. Nov 29th, 2023

Alex Eala in her Asian Video games ladies’s singles semifinals match. –POOL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Going through her hardest opponent but, Alex Eala didn’t again down and pushed the World No.23 Zheng Qinwen of China to her limits earlier than yielding a 1-6, 7-6(5), 3-6 loss of their thrilling semifinal duel within the Asian Video games ladies’s singles on Thursday at Hangzhou Olympic Tennis Centre.

The 18-year-old Filipino then settled for a bronze medal in her Asian Video games debut, delivering the nation’s first in tennis since 2006 when Cecil Mamiit completed bronze within the males’s singles and within the doubles together with his companion Eric Taino.

It was an awe-inspiring closing stand for Eala, who overcame a 2-5 deficit within the second set by saving a number of match factors and getting the higher of the No.1 seed house wager within the tiebreaker to power a decider, the place she led by 3-1.

Nevertheless, Eala misplaced steam with Zheng catching fireplace and successful 5 straight video games to prevail and advance to the gold medal match after a grueling three-hour and 11-minute match.

The final time the Philippines received gold in Asian Video games singles tennis was when Johnny Jose dominated the 1962 version, whereas the most effective end of a Filipino feminine tennis participant was a silver medal by Desideria Ampon within the ladies’s single in 1958.

Alex Eala in her Asian Video games ladies’s singles semifinals match. –POOL PHOTO

Eala,  who’s presently ranked 190 within the Girls’s Tennis Affiliation,  had a promising begin by successful the primary sport of the match however the 20-year-old Chinese language began to warmth up and received six straight video games to take the opening set.

Zheng introduced the momentum on her facet within the second, shifting to the verge of victory with a 5-2 lead. However Eala by no means wavered and displayed grace underneath strain to tie the sport at 5-5 amid the match level benefits of her foe, who was cheered by an ecstatic house crowd.

Zheng stopped the bleeding with a 6-5 lead however the Rafael Nadal Academy product continued to point out resilience by forcing a tiebreaker, the place she obtained the higher of the house wager to earn her first set win in opposition to a High 25 participant within the WTA.

Eala, presently competing within the quarterfinal of the combined doubles with Francis Casey Alcantara in opposition to Thailand as of posting time, received six of her seven singles video games together with her medal-clinching 0-6, 7-5, 6-0 win over Kyoka Okamura of Japan within the quarterfinal on Wednesday.

The Filipino prodigy, who’s the primary Grand Slam singles champion within the nation after a tremendous US Open women’ run final yr, has received 4 Worldwide Tennis Federation crowns and three bronze medals within the thirty first Southeast Asian Video games in Vietnam.

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