MANILA, Philippines – Philippine tennis’ rising star Alexandra "Alex" Eala saw her Paris journey come to an end as she lost to Peyton Stearns of the United States in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4, in round two of the 2018 Roland Garros Junior French Championships qualifiers on Friday, June 1, in Paris, France.
Despite the early exit, Eala relished the experience of playing in her first International Tennis Federation (ITF) 18-under match.
“While I lost today, I am so happy that I reached the final qualifying round at the Junior French Open Championships,” Eala posted on her Facebook account.
The 13-year-old advanced after winning her opening match against Paula Arias Manjon of Spain, 6-4, 6-4.
Last February, Eala got rewarded a wildcard slot to the tournament by ITF board member and Fédération Française de Tennis (FF Tennis) president Bernard Giudicelli, who watched Eala rule the Les Petits As in January.
While in Paris, Eala also had a chance to watch world number one Rafael Nadal in action right from the player's box of the clay king.
Eala had earlier told Rappler that the whole experience is "mind blowing."
"It is going to be my first ITF, so it's cool. Really. It's mind blowing because people work so hard to get there and I am given the opportunity," Eala said.