Filipina tennis star Alex Eala saw her campaign for the Wimbledon girls’ singles title come to an end as she was defeated by Spanish netter, Ane Mintegi del Olmo, 6-3, 4-6, 5-7, in the second round over at the All England Club in London on Thursday evening (Philippine time).
The loss was a shocking one for the 16-year old, who was seeded second in this tournament and was looking for her very first singles grand slam crown.
The first set was a closely fought and was tied at 3-3 until Eala found the opening she was looking for. After holding serve in the seventh game, the young Filipina broke the Spaniard’s serve in the next game to take a 5-3 lead. Mintegi del Olmo, though, held break point in the ninth game with a 40-15 lead. However, Eala persisted and eventually won the game, claiming the set, 6-3, in 43 minutes of action.
Mintegi del Olmo found her form in the second set as she broke Eala’s serve twice and surged ahead, 4-0. The Filipina gamely fought back to tie the game at 4-4 but Mintegi del Olmo grabbed the lead once again, 5-4, after a forehand error by Eala. The Spanish netter then broke Eala’s serve to win the second set, 6-4, and force a sudden-death third set.
In the third, Mintegi del Olmo quickly grabbed the upper hand at 3-1 but the Filipina broke her opponent’s serve and held her own to tie it all up at 3-3. The game remained tied at 5-5 until Mintegi del Olmo clinched the all-important 11th game to seize the lead at 6-5. Eala had a chance at tying the set with her serve but Mintegi del Olmo totally dominated the 12th game, eventually snatching it with a powerful backhand winner to give her the win and the ticket to the next round.
Despite the loss, Eala remains in contention for the girls’ doubles title as she and partner Indonesian Priska Madelyn Nugroho will face off against the team of Swiss netter Chelsea Fontenel and American Ashlyn Krueger. (JNP)