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