By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Filipina tennis sensation Alex Eala couldn’t hold on to her lead and lost two-straight sets against Poland’s Katarzyna Kawa- 2.6, 6.4, 6.0- to end her International Tennis Federation (ITF) W60 Templeton tournament campaign held at the Templeton Tennis Ranch in California, USA.
After a flawless opening game against Shavit Kimchi of Israel during the Round of 32, 6-0, 6-0, Eala couldn’t withstand the power of the higher-ranked Polish superstar at the Round of 16 stage.
Eala started the duel on a high note and immediately bullied Kawa with her powerful forehand strokes that helped her capture the early momentum.
Aside from her consistent display of groundstrokes, the Filipina ace also held all of her service possessions in the first set.
However, the seventh-seeded Kawa shifted gears in the second set and changed the atmosphere of the whole match.
The Polish powerhouse played quicker and countered Eala’s booming forehands with her precise service-and-volley offensive technique.
Every time Kawa’s first spin-service comes in, she immediately rushed to the net area and smashed Eala’s weak return.
The sequence would continue until the third and final set as the newly-crowned US Open juniors queen struggled against the varied offensive approach of Kawa.
After a tightly-contested second set, the 29-year-old Polish veteran took care of business in the third set and swept Eala, 6-0.
Eala failed to hold any of her service possessions in the last set and could only watch the older Kawa dominate in all facets of the match.
The 17-year-old Filipina will go back to the drawing board and will most likely join the remaining ITF tournament circuits left before the playing calendar closes.