Alex Eala bows out in W25 Madrid quarterfinals
MANILA, Philippines—Alex Eala kissed her back-to-back title-bid goodbye as she got eliminated by American Makenna Jones in three sets, 6-2, 4-6, 4-6, in the quarterfinals of W25 Madrid on Saturday at Ciudad Raqueta in Spain.
The 18-year-old Filipino failed to sustain her dominant performance in the first set as the 25-year-old Jones prevailed in a two-hour and 43-minute game to advance to the semifinals.
After taking full control of the opening set with a 6-2 win, Eala lost steam in the second set and fell to a 0-3 hole but she was able to trim it down to a one-point deficit, 4-5, only for Jones to catch fire and force a deciding set.
The Rafael Nadal Academy scholar unleashed a 4-2 start in the third set. However, the American patiently crawled her way back to win four straight games, blanking Eala in the 10th game.
Eala, who won her third International Tennis Federation crown at W25 Yecla last week, missed the opportunity to complete a two-consecutive title run that could have been her fourth overall pro title.
She started the $25,000 tournament in Madrid with a 6-3, 7-5(8) win over Jessica Failla in the first round and eliminated another American Alana Smith in the second round, 6-4, 6-4, before losing in the quarterfinals.
The first Filipino to win a Grand Slam singles title, who is currently ranked No. 266 in the Women’s Tennis Association, also suffered from a quarterfinal exit two weeks ago in the W25 Monastir in Tunisia.
Jones will face Jacqueline Cabaj Awad of Sweden in the semifinals on Sunday.