MANILA, Philippines – Alex Eala kissed her second leg title hopes goodbye after a quarterfinal exit in the W25 Chiang Rai tournament on Friday at Chiang Rai Sports Center in Thailand.
The Filipino wunderkind yielded to Japanese Erika Sema, 3-6, 6-2, 3-6, losing her chance for back-to-back championships in the Thailand showpiece.
The 16-year-old Eala recovered from a first set defeat after displaying her composure and an impressive showing in the second frame.
However, the 33-year-old Japanese got the best of Eala in the third set with a dominant performance to prevail after a grueling two-hour and four-minute duel, moving to the semifinals.
Sema takes on Thai Luksika Kumkhum in the semifinals on Saturday.
Kumkhum, who lost to Eala in the first leg championship, took down Japanese Okamura Kyoka, 7-5, 6-1, in their own quarterfinals duel.
Jia Jing Lu of China and Peangtan Plipuech of Thailand will clash for the other Final berth.
Lu beat Gozal Ainitdinova of Kazakhstan, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, while the No.8 seed Plipuech ousted her fellow Thai Pimrada Jattavapornvanit, 6-3, 6-4, in the other quartefinal matches.
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