Alex Eala’s Wimbledon tuneup hummed efficiently, driving deeper into the draw late in Thursday’s second round of the J1 Roehampton in London.
The 16-year-old Filipino was to battle Italy’s Matilde Paoletti for a spot in the third round of the singles after winning her opening match.
Eala is hoping to gain momentum for her maiden campaign at the All England Club starting next week.
Later on Thursday, Eala will team up with 2020 Australian Open juniors girls doubles cochamp Priska Nugroho of Indonesia in the second round against Czech Republic’s Barbora Palicova and Slovakia’s Radka Zelnickova.
Playing on grass for the first time, Eala didn’t need much adjustment in disposing of Czech Republic’s Darja Vidmanova, 6-4, 6-4, late Wednesday in the first round of singles.
Eala also had a big start in doubles as her partnership with Nugroho eliminated Germany’s Nicole Rivkin and Belgium’s Hanne Vandewinkel, 7-6 (1), 7-5.
In London, for the second time in three days, British hero Andy Murray left a late-night Centre Court crowd spellbound as he battled past German qualifier Oscar Otte to win a five-set epic and reach the third round.
The 34-year-old who plays with a metal hip after surgery in 2019 looked to be in big trouble against the world No. 151, but after a break while the roof slid closed in the fourth set, he returned inspired to win, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. It was a fair bit quieter earlier in the day as top seed Novak Djokovic dispatched Kevin Anderson in clinical fashion, winning, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3, to reach the third round.
—With a report from Reuters INQ
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