MANILA, Philippines, April 7 ------ Alex Eala kicked off her maiden women’s $60,000 tournament in resounding fashion on Tuesday. Eala scored a gutsy 7-6 (6), 6-2 win over Margot Yerolymus of France in Bellinzona, Switzerland. The 15-year-old Eala’s victory came just a day after she climbed the WTA rankings anew at No. 715. Despite playing a more experienced opponent who is eight years her senior, Eala showed her composure in a nip-and-tuck first set. Yerolymus is ranked nearly 400 spots higher than Eala at No. 323.
Eala is expected to face an even stiffer challenge in the second round against world No. 206 Laura Iona Paar of Romania. The 32-year-old Paar drew a bye in the first round.