Filipina tennis ace Alex Eala fell short of her bid to go far in the 2021 Roland Garros juniors singles tournament on Monday, June 7, in Paris, France.
Eala succumbed to Matilda Mutavdzic of Great Britain, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1, in the first round of the girls singles event.
Mutavdzic took the first set, but the 16-year-old Filipina bounced back with a 5-1 start to the second set.
The British continued to ride on her strong momentum as she scored five straight games to tie the score at 5-5. Eala avoided the sweep by truimphing in the tiebreak to extend the match to a decider.
However, International Tennis Federation juniors world No. 19 Mutavdzic completed the upset over Eala in the final set.
Eala will continue vying for a French Open crown in the doubles as she teams up with Russian star Oksana Selekhmeteva.
The mixed-nationality pair copped a runner-up finish in the women's $25,000 tournament in Platja D'aro, Spain, last May 22.
They will face the pair of Evialina Laskevich and Alina Shcherbinina later Monday.
Eala achieved a breakthrough semifinals finish in the 2020 edition, where she became the first Filipino in 35 years since Felix Barrientos to clinch a last 4 slot in the 1985 Wimbledon juniors tournament. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.