Alex Eala bowed out of contention after suffering a stunning loss to Spain’s Ane Mintegi Del Olmo, 6-3, 4-6, 5-7, in the second round of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships girls’ singles tournament at the All England Club, Thursday evening (Manila time).
Mintegi Del Olmo, ranked number 27 in the world in the juniors, dropped the upset axe against the third-ranked Filipino.
The 17-year-old Spaniard punished Eala’s second serve and hit a powerful down-the-line winner to end the match after two hours and 11 minutes.
The Filipino had a chance to end the match on her own service game after a break of serve in the ninth game, but instead, it was the opponent who broke back to go level at 5.
Eala had to earlier bleed for the set advantage after surviving three breakpoint opportunities of Mintegi Del Olmo and finally got the set off an errant return from the latter.
The Filipino possessed a chance to close it out with a 40-15 lead but two straight double faults saw her battle for that set-clinching game. Nonetheless, a well-placed service in the last two points finally gave her the first set.
The 16-year-old then turned up her game in the second set, going aggressive after trailing huge at 0-4, and eventually leveled it up at 4.
However, Mintegi Del Olmo dug deep on her tank to take the most important break of the match for her to force the decider.
Eala and Indonesian partner Priska Madelyn Nugroho will look to bounce back from their respective singles’ exits and will try to follow up on their rousing opening round win as they take on Switzerland’s Chelsea Fontenel and USA’s Ashlyn Krueger later in the day.