Alex Eala failed to advance to the second round of the W25 Macon event in France after bowing to fellow qualifier Anna Ukolova of Russia, 1-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3), Wednesday.
The 16-year-old top Filipino junior player controlled the match early on but slowly lost her steam against the 22-year-old Ukolova, who was ranked lower than Eala’s No. 583 Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rating.
A victory could have arranged her a meeting with Germany’s Mona Barthel, who stunned fourth seed Jessika Ponchet of France, 7-5, 3-6, 6-1.
Eala’s defeat and her French partner Alice Robbe also bowed out in the doubles at the expense of local pair Audrey Albie and Aubane Droguet, 6-4, 6-2.
This was Eala’s fourth tournament in the women’s circuit since starting her season late January in Manacor, Spain.
Her best singles feat so far was a third-round finish at the W25 Manacor and two quarterfinal finishes in the doubles.