TENNIS prodigy Alex Eala sustained her sensational run Saturday night, bundling out qualifier Aditha Karunaratne of Hong Kong 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the finals of the $15,000 International Tennis Federation W15 Manacor tournament at the Rafa Nadal Academy courts in Mallorca, Spain.
Playing on her home turf, Eala, 15, a scholar at the Spanish tennis star’s academy, took only one hour and 36 minutes to dispatch her 19-year-old rival and earn her first finals appearance in a professional tournament.
She arranged a title showdown with Spanish veteran Yvonne Cavalle-Reimers, who vanquished French qualifier Leolia Jeanjean 6-4-6-2 in the other semis match. The title match was scheduled last night.
Eala reached the championship match by upsetting Australian top seed Seone Mendes 6-4, 6-1 in the second round before dumping French No. 5 seed Carole Monnet 6-3, 6-1 to reach the semifinals.
The pretty Filipina southpaw, who reached the semis of last year’s French Open juniors tournament, dominated Karunaratne in all departments, winning 32 points of 57 on her serve for a 56 percent average in contrast to the latter’s 42 percent (24/57).
Eala also scored 33 out of 57 points on the receiving end for a 58 percent norm while Karunaratne mustered a 44 percent clip (25-57) and won six of her 10 service games for 60 percent compared to the latter’s 3-of-9 or 33 percent.
The Pinay netter, who is currently ranked No. 1,187 in the World Tennis Association ratings, was set to go up against a Spanish foe who is 13 years older and is No. 490 in the WTA rankings.
Reimers last saw action in the $15,000 ITF Monastir 22 last Dec. 15 in Tunisia, dropping her first-round match 4-6, 1-6 to Croatia’s Antonia Ruzic.
The winner of the tournament will get WTA 100 ranking points while the losing finalist settles for 60 points.