Filipina tennis phenom and Globe ambassador Alex Eala’s campaign in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Tennis Tour W25 Manacor hit a bump after she was beaten by third seed Jana Fett of Croatia, 4-6, 6-3, 5-7 in the second round.
The 15-year old had control of the match early against the 24-year Croatian, who is the no. 210 player in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) singles rankings, as Eala shattered a 4-4 deadlock by holding her serve and then breaking Fett’s to take the first set, 6-4.
The second set was also a nip-and-tuck affair until Fett asserted herself by scoring three straight points from a 3-all score to 3-3 tie to claim the second canto, 6-3, and extend the match to a deciding set.
Fett kept her momentum up in the third and zoomed off to a 5-3 lead after she broke the Filipina youngster’s serve. Eala, however, kept her wits and scored the next two points to equalize the count at 5-5.
Eala even had a solid shot in taking the lead after surging ahead at 40-15. Fett relied on her experience to erase the deficit and went on to win the frame, 6-5. The Croatian eventually broke Eala’s serve to take the match that lasted two hours and 57 minutes.
The setback snapped Eala’s three consecutive quarterfinals appearance in as many tournaments since winning her first-ever professional singles title in January this year.