Alex Eala lost steam in the critical moments of the deciding third set and yielded to Croatian third seed Jana Fett, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, in the second round of the W25 Manacor tournament in Spain Thursday night, March 4.
Eala rallied from a 5-3 third-set deficit to 5-all but failed to sustain her charge in the next two games in the match that lasted nearly three hours.
The 15-year-old PH bet, who earned a main draw berth as a junior exempt, had a chance to break Fett’s serve in the 11th game after leading 40-15 but stumbled in the next four points.
Fett used that momentum to break Eala’s serve in the 12th for the match win.
A victory against Fett could have earned her a quarterfinal showdown against unseeded Jessica Pieri of Italy, who crushed lucky loser Iva Primorac, 6-0, 6-2, in a little over an hour.
Despite the defeat, Eala hopes to see more action in the pro circuit in the future particularly in tougher $25,000 events.
She won her first pro title at a $15,000 tournament also in Manacor last January.