Alex Eala fell short on her bid of a third pro title Friday, Oct. 7 (Saturday in Manila) after a quarterfinal exit at the W80 Rancho Santa Fe International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament in California.

Qualifier Alex Eala loses to a Mexican rival in the quarterfinals of W80 Rancho Santa Fe tournament. (File Photo from Alex Eala’s Facebook page)

The 17-year-old junior tennis sensation mustered all her might but still failed to upset a more experienced rival in 28-year-old Marcela Zacarias of Mexico, 6-2, 7-5.

Zacarias set the pace in the opening set and cruised to a 5-0 lead before Eala fought back in the second frame.

Eala dictated the pace this time with 4-2 and 5-3 leads, but the Mexican was quick to recover and went on to win the next four games en route to the match win.

Still, it was an impressive feat for Eala as she had to undergo two qualifying matches against Latvia’s Deniza Marcinkevica, 6-1, 6-3, and hometown bet Alana Smith, 6-0, 6-0, to make it to the main draw.

Prior to her defeat, Eala survived American Dalayna Hewitt, 6-1, 2-6, 6-0, in the first round, and Canadian Katherine Sebov, 7-6 (6), 6-2, in the second round.

Source: Manila Bulletin (