The buck stopped in the second round for Filipina tennis sensation Alex Eala as she got eliminated by the third-seed, Jana Fett of Croatia, 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, in the second round of the International Tennis Federation World Tennis Tour (ITF) W25 Manacor on Thursday in Mallorca, Spain.
The 15-year old had control of the match early against the 24-year old Fett who is the no. 210 player in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) singles rankings as she pulled away from 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 but Fett asserted herself by scoring three straight points to break a 3-3 tie and claim the second set, 6-3, and equalize the match to send it to a sudden-death third set.
Fett kept her momentum up in the third and surged ahead to a 5-3 lead after she broke the Filipina youngster’s serve. However, Eala kept her wits about her and scored the next two points to equalize the count at 5-5.
Eala had a chance at taking the lead as she went up, 40-15, but Fett regained her composure and fought back to take the point and the lead, 6-5. Fett then broke Eala’s serve to close out the thrilling match that lasted two hours and 57 minutes.
The loss stung for Eala as she previously made it to the quarterfinals in each of her last three tournaments after winning her first pro title in the W15 Manacor back in January. (JNP)