Filipina tennis phenom and Globe ambassador Alex Eala fought bravely but ultimately fell short as she was ousted by Simona Waltert, 4-6, 6-2, 5-7, in the opening round of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Tennis Tour W15 Manacor on Wednesday in Mallorca, Spain.
It was only a week ago when these two competitors clashed in the W25 Manacor where the 15-year old claimed a 6-1, 6-4 win over Waltert who is seeded third in this tournament and is ranked no. 285 in the Women’s Tennis Association singles rankings.
In their return match, Waltert made sure that the result will be different as the 20-year old Swiss broke Eala’s serve and then held her own to grab the first set win, 6-4. Broken but not bowed, Eala fiercely fought back and broke Waltert’s serve twice to zoom off to a 5-1 lead in the second set before eventually claiming a 6-2 win and even the match at one set apiece.
The third set saw Eala keep her momentum and build a 4-1 lead. Walter, however, kept her composure and chipped away Eala’s lead. She eventually tied the game at 4-4. Eala momentarily took the driver’s seat at 5-4 but Waltert responded by dominating the next game to knot things up at 5-5.
Waltert then broke Eala’s serve to go up, 6-5. The Filipina had a chance to tie the game after Waltert double-faulted twice to give her a 40-0 lead. Waltert came up with a big comeback to eventually take the set and the match that lasted for two hours and 44 minutes.
This was the first time that Eala has failed to move past the first round in six professional tournaments this year. She won her very first pro title in the first leg of the W15 Manacor back in January and then had three straight quarterfinal finishes before losing to Jana Fett of Croatia in the second round of the W25 Manacor tilt last week.
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