Alex Eala fell short in her bid of a third pro title after yielding in the semifinals of the W80 Poitiers tournament in France Saturday, Oct. 29.

Alex Eala finishes in the semifinals of the French tournament. (File photo from Alex Eala’s Facebook page)

Eala bowed to familiar rival Ysaline Bonaventure of Belgium, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, to end her campaign that started in the qualifiers.

The Filipina tennis sensation rose from an opening set stumble by dictating the pace in the second frame, but lost steam in the decider as Bonaventure regrouped to outhustle her fellow left-handed foe.

A victory for Eala could have arranged her a championship date with Croatia Petro Marcinko, who forced sixth seed Clara Tauson of Denmark to retire, 3-6, 6-1, 2-1 (ret).

It was still an impressive campaign for Eala despite the loss, having gone through a two-round qualifier to make it to the main draw.

Her main draw victories came at the expense of France’s Jessika Ponchet, 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (6); Russia’s Vitalia Diatchenko, 6-4, 6-3; and Croatia’s Ana Konjuh, 6-2, 6-3.

She also competed in the doubles with Marcinko bet lost in the quarterfinals to Czech pair Miriam Kolodziejova and Marketa Vondrousova, 7-5, 6-2.

Eala continues her search for the title when she competes in the W100 Shrewsbury in Great Britain starting this week, where she will face hometown bet Ranah Akua Stoiber in the first qualifying round.

This would be the first time that Eala and Stoiber would be meeting in the pro circuit, with the Filipina boasting of a higher ranking at No. 248 compared to Stoiber’s No. 881.

Stoiber, also 17 like Eala, is on a hunt for her first pro title.

Source: Manila Bulletin (