Wildcard Eala upsets former top 30 player in Madrid

SHE might be her nation’s only ranked player, but Phillipines’ Alexandra Eala showed she can punch above her weight with the world number 170 getting the job done against former top 30 player, Lesia Tsurenko, at the Madrid Open.

The 18-year-old talent came back from a set down on Arantxa Sanchez Stadium to post a memorable victory over the Ukrainian, winning 2-6 6-4 6-4 in two hours and 20 minutes. The win will give Eala a significant boost considering it is a WTA 1000 event, moving into the second round of the tournament.

In the match, Eala won 62 per cent of her first serve points compared to Tsurenko’s 55 per cent, and while the wildcard struggled off her second serve (28 per cent), she was able to press on return and breaking once more in each of the last two sets to be the difference in the contest.

So close was the contest that Tsurenko actually won an additional point (94-93), but it was Eala’s ability to step up when it counted in the crunch deciding set that saw her home. Eala will face 27th seeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea in the Round of 64.

In a quieter first day of action, just the women’s singles main draw matches were in action, with plenty of interest in the all-Russian clash between Anastasia Potapova and Diana Shnaider. In the end the former got up 7-5 6-4 to move through to the second round, while Grand Slam finalist Nadia Podoroska won out against Czech Katerina Siniakova, 6-2 7-6.

German Tatjana Maria ground out a hard-fought win over Peyton Stearns in two hours and 45 minutes, but it was far from the longest contest, with Xiyu Wang outlasting Ana Bogdan on Manolo Santana Stadium in a clash that went for three hours and 21 minutes.

In other results, Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus knocked out Czech teenager Brenda Fruhvirtova in straight srts 7-5 6-3, while Fruhvirtova’s sister Linda also departed on the same day, losing to Irina-Camelia Begu 6-4 7-6. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova was the other winner, with the Slovakian too consistent for American Sofia Kenin.


Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) defeated [WC] Linda Fruhvirtova (CZE) 6-4 7-6
[WC] Alexandra Eala (PHI) defeated Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 2-6 6-4 6-4
Tatjana Maria (GER) defeated Peyton Stearns (USA) 6-7 6-2 7-6
Nadia Podoroska (ARG) defeated Katerina Siniakova (CZE) 6-2 7-6
Anastasia Potapova (RUS) defeated [WC] Brenda Fruhvirtova (CZE) 7-5 6-3
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) defeated Sofia Kenin (USA) 6-3 6-4
Xiyu Wang (CHN) defeated Ana Bogdan (ROU) 6-7 7-6 6-2

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