MANILA – Alexandra “Alex” Eala of the Philippines was eliminated from the W60 Templeton tournament in California after being bested by No. 7 seed Katarzyna Kawa of Poland in the second round, 6-2, 4-6, 0-6.
The 17-year-old Eala, who recently won the US Open girls’ singles championship, was a wildcard in the $60,000 event on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Women’s World Tennis Tour.
Their Thursday afternoon match on the Templeton Tennis Ranch outdoor hard court began with WTA World No. 291 Eala gaining the upper hand, 4-0, after overcoming deuce thrice in the fourth game.
They exchanged service breaks twice, with Eala claiming the first set, 6-2, after earning two set points.
Kawa, the 29-year-old WTA World No. 163, bounced back in the second set by breaking serve in the opening game, then racing to a 4-2 lead.
Eala caught up to 4-4 with a solid service hold and a swift service break, but Kawa broke back after three deuces to serve for the set at 5-4.
Down 0-40, Kawa saved a total of four break point opportunities to take the set, 6-4, and force a decider.
The Pole sustained her momentum in the third set where she zoomed to 5-0, gaining several free points from Eala’s double faults, which totaled 13 throughout the match.
As Kawa was serving for the match, Eala advanced to 40-30 after her Polish opponent committed two double faults.
The sixth game, which went on to deuce, saw Eala earning five break-point chances and Kawa gaining four match points.
Kawa successfully served out the match, 6-0, to reach the quarterfinals where she will face 18-year-old American qualifier Robin Montgomery, the 2021 US Open girls’ singles winner.
Eala kicked off her W60 Templeton campaign with a smashing 6-0, 6-0 win over qualifier Shavit Kimchi of Israel in the first round.
In the doubles draw, she and Alice Robbe of France lost to Americans Madison Brengle and Whitney Osuigwe in the opening round, 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-10.
Up next for the Filipino tennis sensation is the W80 Rancho Sante Fe tilt happening from October 3 to 9 at the Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club in California.
As of September 30, the 2021 W15 Manacor and 2022 W25 Chiang Rai champion is entered in the qualifying acceptance list of the $80,000 ITF event.