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Alex Eala suffers sorry loss

Her coaching team’s decision to shift focus on the pros is getting the desired, albeit painful, effects for Filipino tennis star Alex Eala.

On her fourth straight tournament in the women’s circuit, the 16-year-old suffered her toughest defeat yet, blowing a one-set, 4-1 lead to a veteran campaigner in dropping in the second round of the W60 Grenoble in France.

But she’s getting a lot of experience and lessons from the competition.

Her mother Rizza posted on her Facebook page, expressing her support to her daughter and her family’s gratitude for the coaching direction the younger Eala is getting from the Rafael Nadal Academy coaches.

“What a fight, what a week,” wrote Rizza, using hashtags “proud mom” and “proud fam.”

They have reasons to be proud at how Alex held her ground in the tough tournament after she breezed through the qualifying rounds and hurdled the opening round.

But Eala was left to rue letting this one get away, losing against world No. 124 Chloe Paquet of France who dealt her a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 defeat.

The fourth-seed Paquet took some time to recover from the quick and determined Eala, who took a 4-1 lead in the second set only to allow the French to hold serve at love in the next game.

That was all the momentum the 27-year-old Paquet needed to turn the table, breaking Eala’s serve next before wearing down the World No. 587 in a long-drawn eighth game.

Paquet converted 9 of 12 break point chances against Eala’s 7-of-14 and led in aces 4-0, revealing the disparity in experience and skills level in the match that lasted two hours and 34 minutes.


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