By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Filipina tennis sensation Alex Eala ended her W100 Grodzisk Mazowiecki International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament stint with a Round of 32 finish held in Poland.
After an impressive debut victory against Laura Svatikova of Slovakia in two-straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, Eala faced tougher competition when she met Katharina Hobgarski in the next round and fell 4-6, 3-6.
The German tennis player overwhelmed Eala with her varied offensive approach and was always looking to press the action in the net.
Eala started well with her consistent forehand groundstrokes but after Hobgarski decided to cut the distance and take control inside, the Filipina started to commit some unforced errors that changed the complexion of the match.
Aside from her rally misses, Eala also tallied an uncharacteristic three double faults while only clinching one break point out of her three chances.
On the other hand, Hobgarski had a more consistent service game and had zero double faults throughout the match.
Eala had the chance to inch close in the second set after holding two of her service possessions but her German foe came back with her blitzing serve-and-volley game and avoided a deciding third set.
Despite the loss, Eala is still having one of her best starts entering the professional scene after recently qualifying in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) top 350 female tennis players.
After clinching the WTA world no. 394 rank following a stellar outing during the 2022 W25 Chiang Rai tournament held in Thailand, Eala improved to world no. 340 and will have the chance to improve her ranking before the year ends.