FOR the third straight time, Alex Eala settled for a quarterfinal finish in an International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament.
The Filipina teen sensation fell short of a semifinal appearance in the W25 Trophee de La Ville when she lost to Maja Chwalinska of Poland, 0-6, 4-6, on Friday night in Grenoble, France.
Eala started slowly and failed to lose a single game in the first set. She showed signs of life in the second, taking a 4-3 lead only to fall back again against a 19-year-old ranked No. 220 by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).
Chwalinska finished with a flourish to wrap up the match in one hour and 20 minutes, putting an end to Eala's first $25,000 tournament of the year.
The 15-year old Filipina, however, is still entitled to two similar tournaments and two $60,000 events - an opportunity she earned from the ITF’s Junior Exempt Program after ending the year as one of the world's top juniors players.
Eala is still at No. 3 in the world juniors ranking and is at 903rd in the WTA rankings after winning her maiden womens singles pro title last month in the first leg of the W15 Manacor in Mallorca, Spain.
Eala is now slated to back to Spain to play at the W25 Manacor beginning on March 1.