Photo from Rafa Nadal Academy

Teen sensation Alex Eala dug deep in besting Romania’s Laura-Ioana Paar, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, to barge into the second round of the W25 Grenoble pro tournament in France late Tuesday.

Eala, who entered the $25,000 tournament as a junior exempt, fought back from a second-set hiccup before crawling back from a 4-3 third-set deficit in en route to the victory.

The 15-year-old PH bet needed two hours and 18 minutes in edging Paar, who was more than twice her age at 32 but boasting with 13 International Tennis Federation (ITF) singles titles.

Eala also struggled with 10 double faults, but managed to keep her composure in the end.

The win arranged Eala a second-round date with seventh seed Cristina Bucsa of Spain, a 6-4, 6-4 winner over unseeded Martina Di Giuseppe of Italy.

Bucsa, at 23, is currently ranked No. 164 in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), highlighted with a victory at the $60,000 Engie Open Loire Atlantique in Nantes, France in 2019.

But Eala, who is relatively new in the pro circuit, is slowly making her presence felt, having won her first pro title in her sixth appearance.

She also entered the week with a career-high WTA ranking of No. 903 from 942 after a quarterfinals finish in the third leg of the W15 Manacor event in Spain.

Source: Manila Bulletin (