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Alex Eala dealt early exit in W25 Milovice

Alex Eala was eliminated early in her comeback tournament, taking a straight-sets defeat against Russia’s Darya Astakhova, 2-6, 2-6 in the 2021 ITF Women’s World Tour W25 tournament in Milovice, Czech Republic., Tuesday night (Philippine time).

This is the first time the 16-year-old took the courts after her quarterfinals stint in the singles and semifinals finish in the doubles in the 2021 US Open in the Flushing Meadows; hence, rust was quite evident throughout the one-hour-13-minute match.

Eala could not recover from a huge 1-5 hole in the second set to the WTA No. 291 foe. Despite taking the seventh game to cut the deficit to three, she eventually lost the final game – and, consequently, the match.

The Filipino standout took the opening game and had a golden opportunity to break Astakhova’s serve for a tie at two games when she got two breakpoints. Nonetheless, the Russian dictated the next three rallies to instead take the pivotal 3-1 lead that was the turning point for the first-set win.

The hiatus took its toll on Eala, who slipped into world No. 4 in the juniors rankings and into No. 524 in WTA. However, the break was necessary as the teenage star had to recover from injuries that accumulated through her several campaigns in the year.

Eala is slated to compete for the one last time this year at the JA Plantation Orange Bowl on December 6 to 12 in the US.

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Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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