Alex Eala fought hard but ultimately absorbed a defeat against Egypt’s Mayar Sherif, 2-6, 2-6, to exit in the Round of 16 of the women’s singles event of the Cluj-Napoca Winners Open în Romania, Thursday.
With her serve haunting her throughout the match, the WTA Manacor champion lost her final service game. The world number 119 Egyptian then closed out the match on her own terms.
Eala had several chances to break the Sherif serve, but the latter did well to stifle the run and save those three instances. The Egyptian eventually swept her way to love by taking the set advantage.
The 16-year-old took the upper hand in the next game with a huge service game to love. She then threatened to go up two with another breakpoint.
Instead, Sherif was the one who took the first break of serve of the frame, 3-2. The Filipino teenager succumbed to errors in her third service game of the frame. The 25-year-old never let her guard down to eventually end Eala’s campaign.
The result closes another milestone in the Filipino tennis prodigy’s resume after Eala won the first match in her WTA main draw in that Round of 32 contest, the first Filipino to do so.