By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Young Filipina tennis star Alex Eala suffered an early exit in the ongoing W60 Chiasso tennis tournament held in Switzerland last April 13, 2023.
The highest-ranked Filipina ace wasn’t in her best shape when she fought Alexandra Cadantu-Ignatik of Romania and bowed out in just two-straight sets- 6.0, 6.2- in the Round of 32 singles category.
Eala got overwhelmed by the Romanian’s crisp and direct attacks to the baseline matched with her highly-efficient first ball during her service possessions.
Also, it was one of those days for Eala where her unforced errors derailed her momentum in catching the crucial set points.
Ignatik quickly pounced on Eala from the get-go as her veteran court mastery helped her control the tempo of the match and slow down the Filipina’s down-the-line forehand attempts.
Knowing that it was Eala’s bread and butter, Ignatik was wise to target her on the backhand side and pressured her decision-making when she would immediately cut to the net area and aim for the short balls.
Despite Eala showing some life at the start of the second set when she held some of her service possessions, the Romanian tactician still found a way to disrupt her hitting rhythm and broke the rest of her serves.
Eala tried to fight fire with fire as she decided to go with Ignatik’s playing pace but failed to capitalize when the Romanian got the better of her in several exchanges that ended in easy drop balls.
It was also a disappointing run for Eala in the doubles category when she lost at the hands of Beatrice Gumulya and Anna Siskova- 6.3, 4.6, 13.11-.
Eala and her partner Barbora Palicova were close to advancing to the next round of the doubles category but let their momentum slip away in a back-and-forth tiebreaker.