Filipina sensation Alex Eala concludes her journey in the $60,000 International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament after bowing down to hometown bet Swiss rival Simona Waltert, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, on Thursday (Early Friday morning, Manila time) in Bellinzona, Switzerland.

/ 10 April 2021

Eala missed her ticket to the quarterfinals as World No. 284 Simona Waltert of Switzerland fends off World No. 715 Eala in three sets of the 2 hours and 18 minutes match.

The 15-year-old Filipina started off strong where she dominated early with a 4-1 lead, but lost her pace as the Swiss rival rallied back with four straight games to take the lead and secure the opening set

Eala was able to recover in the second set as she flaunts a 5-1 lead, though Waltert performed two game wins in a row to cut the deficit to 3-5, Eala managed to keep her composure to pull off a decider. 

In the third frame, both players held serve until the 20-year-old home bet controlled the match with her tactics of sustaining multiple drop shots.

Waltert converted a break opportunity after hitting a drop shot to lead 3-1 but missed another drop shot after Eala was able to hit to the corner of the baseline which made her break back at 2-3. 

The Swiss foe limited Eala with only two points that extended her lead to 4-2, then blows Eala’s two break chances to advance to 5-2, then eventually, break the Filipina’s serve to win the deciding set, 6-2.

Eala succumbed with errors and ended 11 double faults in the game that missed her chance from accomplishing what could have been her fifth quarterfinal appearance of the year. 

Still, the Rafa Nadal Academy scholar is entitled to one $25,000 and one $60,000 contests in the woman’s due to the junior exempt program after finishing No. 3 ranking in the juniors circuit.