A LITTLE more than a week after a title conquest in France, Alex Eala faltered in Switzerland this time around with an early exit in the W75 Bellinzona late Wednesday night.

The 18-year-old Filipina tennis pride could not find her groove en route to a lopsided 6-3, 6-1 defeat to France’s Selena Janicijevic in the first round.

The match only lasted 101 minutes as Ms. Eala committed four faults and yielded three aces to her 21-year-old foe.

Ms. Eala also struggled to unload her usual lethal counter attacks and crisp service game with below 50-percent accuracy on both departments.

In contrast, Ms. Janicijevic was flawless in the entire match, highlighted by a staggering 75-percent clip in her service games that proved too much to overcome for Ms. Eala.

Ms. Eala stood her ground in 2-all deadlock in the first set before allowing a 4-1 closeout by Ms. Janicijevic, who ran away in the near second-set shutout

The WTA No. 172 Ms. Eala bagged a doubles title last March 31 in the W75 Croissy-Beaubourg in France with French partner Estelle Cascino.

It’s the second doubles championship for Ms. Eala, winner of four singles crowns in a promising career, after a breakthrough feat in the W50 Pune in India earlier this year with Latvian partner Darja Semenistaja. — John Bryan Ulanday