FILIPINO ALEX EALA and her doubles partner Victoria Jiménez Kasintseva of Andorra saw their International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Tennis Tour W25 Madrid campaign stop in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
The Filipino-Andorran pair bowed in three sets to American Ashley Lahey and Australian Olivia Tjandramulia, (5-7, 6-4, 6-10) in the doubles competition held at the Ciudad de la Raqueta in Spain.
The defeat came on the heels of 16-year-old Eala’s ouster also in the quarterfinals of the singles event earlier in the day where she lost to No. 5 seed and hometown bet Andrea Lazaro Garcia (2-6, 6-4, 6-4).
Rafa Nadal Academy scholar and long-time Globe ambassador Eala and Ms. Jiménez Kasintseva had a strong start, racing to an early 3-0 lead in the opening set.
But the Lahey-Tjandramulia tandem eventually found its footing, racking up four straight games to overtake its opponent, 4-3.
The pairs were tied at 5-5 before Mses. Lahey and Tjandramulia broke Mses. Eala and Jiménez Kasintseva’s serve to go up, 6-5, and then, held their serve to win the first set, 7-5.
In the second set, Mses. Eala and Jiménez Kasintseva had the tables turned against them, falling behind, 1-3, in the early goings. But they were able to regroup to capture the second set, 6-4, and force a deciding set.
In the race-to-10 decider, the Eala-Jiménez Kasintseva pair immediately went to a 3-0 lead but could not sustain its momentum, committing two double faults to trail, 4-5. The Lahey-Tjandramulia duo eventually cruised to the 10-6 win to secure the match and a place in the semifinals.
Ms. Eala, the number three-ranked juniors player in the world, was able to qualify for the main draw of the Madrid event by way of the ITF junior exempt program.
Prior to competing in the W25 Madrid tournament, Ms. Eala was on a high, having won the French Open girls doubles title with Russian partner Oksana Selekhmeteva early this month. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo