Despite facing a highly-rated opponent, Alex Eala refused to go down without a fight.
The 15-year-old tennis upstart had a strong start, but could not complete her comeback against third-seed Jana Fett in three sets, 6-4, 3-6, 5-7. She bowed out of the W25 Manacor tournament of the 2021 ITF Women’s World Tennis Tour at the Rafa Nadal Academy, Thursday evening (Manila time).
Taking down Fett was a tall task, as the 24-year-old is a former Top 100 player in the WTA Rankings. She even went as far as the second round of the Australian Open in 2018.
Eala had to erase the first match point from the more veteran Croatian and level the deciding frame at five games apiece. Nonetheless, Fett was able to assert her service game and finally clinch the match after almost three hours on the chilly Manacor afternoon.
The 15-year-old actually started the match strong. She took the early break as she picked up from where she left in her previous outing, using her service as a weapon. She then needed to survive the next few games on serve, and broke the Croatian for the second time in the frame to take the set advantage.
Fett then got herself on track in the following set to ultimately dominate the frame and to send the match into a decider.