ALEX M. Eala bowed out of contention in the JA Plantation Orange Bowl junior championships with a 6-3, 6-3 defeat to Kristyna Tomajkova of Czech Republic at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Florida yesterday.
Coming off a fiery start against home bet Charlotte Owensby, the Filipina ace cooled down and got blanked this time en route to a sorry second-round boot as the No. 2 seed in the girls’ singles play.
Ms. Eala, the world junior No. 3, also had an early exit in the W25 Milovice in Czech Republic to mark her return from a long absence due to a foot injury.
Good thing for the 16-year-old sensation, she’s still in the running for the doubles crown after an easy 6-2, 6-1 first-round win with partner Solana Sierra of Argentina.
The third-ranked Filipina-Argentine duo took care of business over the American pair of Krystal Blanch and Madeleine Jessup, setting up a clash against Russian Mirra Andreeva and Katja Wiersholm of the United States in Round 2.
Ms. Eala is out for her second Orange Bowl title after ruling the 2019 edition with Evialina Laskevich of Belarus.
This is Ms. Eala’s last event in a solid season highlighted by a maiden pro title in Spain, a doubles crown in the French Open juniors and a twin-championship in Italy.
Ms. Eala is also making stride in the women’s pro circuit, placing at No. 527 of the recent Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings. — John Bryan Ulanday