Alex Eala failed to sustain her hot start as she fell to the hands of French player Chloe Paquet, 6-4, 5-7, 3-6, in Round of 16 of the W60 Genoble on Friday, Feb. 11 (Manila time).
Eala just couldn’t find the push to complete her upset bid against the hometown bet as the Filipina tennis sensation cooled down in the second set after building an early 4-1 game advantage.
Inches away from a quarterfinals seat in the $60,000 tournament, the 16-year-old Eala failed to close out the match as the world No. 124 Paquet displayed poise and rallied back to tie things up at 5-all.
Eala stumbled in the succeeding play as her older, 27-year-old counterpart put on the finishing touches to take a 7-5 win and force a rubber match.
With the momentum shifting to her side, it was Paquet who seized control in the decider as she took a commanding 5-2 game lead.
Eala salvaged a point following a Paquet service error but the Frenchwoman was quick to redeem herself by breaking Eala’s serve in the following sequence to close out the match in two hours and 34 minutes.
The Rafa Nadal Academy scholar and 2021 W15 Manacor champion barged her way to the main draw by beating France’s Thanh Lan Truong, 6-3, 6-2, in the first round of the qualifying draw and Italy’s Stefana Rubini 4-6, 6-4, 10-4 in the second.
She followed it up with another scintillating performance in the round of 32 where she defeated Swiss favorite Joanne Zuger in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1, to set up the match against Paquet in the round of 16.