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    Alex Eala sent packing in first round of French Open singles

    Jun 7, 2021

    SECOND-seed Alex Eala fell short against unseeded Great Britain’s Matilda Mutavdzic after a thrilling three-set match, 4-6, 7(7)-6(4), 1-6 to put an end to her Roland Garros French Open Girls’ Singles tournament on Monday night (Philippine time).

    The juniors world No. 3 had a slow start to her games but slowly got up to speed. However, a double fault from the sixteen-year-old allowed Mutavdzic to close out the set.

    A set down, Eala establish a strong momentum in their next face off, advancing to 4-0 before the British closed the gap to 5-4. The two foes eventually tied at 5-all before the Filipina broke serve to regain the lead at 6-5, and pulled off a tiebreak at 6-6.

    The 16-year-old Rafa Nadal Academy scholar managed to stay alive to force a decider, ending the second set at 7(7)-6(4).

    By the final set, however, Mutadzic, a juniors world no. 19, held her off to just a single point and dominated the set, breaking Eala in the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th game in the last set of the match that lasted all of 2 hours and 33 minutes.

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    Last year, Eala reached the semifinals before she lost to home bet Elsa Jacquemot, who eventually bagged the title.

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    Both also have WTA titles under their names: a W15 Manacor for Eala, and a W15 Melilla for Mutadzic.

    In a juniors tournament in 2019, Eala defeated Mutavdzic. With her loss today, their head-to-head record now stands at 1-1.

    Despite her singles exit, Eala is still competing in the doubles with partner Oksana Selekhmeteva in the French Open Girls’ Doubles.

    Their opening match is scheduled for tonight at 9:05 PM (Philippine time).

    The pair made a promising finals finish in a recent $25,000 tournament in Spain last May.

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