MANILA, Philippines — Philippine tennis wunderkind Alex Eala couldn't capitalize on a first set advantage in her debut in the WTA tour after falling to Viktoria Kuzmova, 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, in the Miami Open qualifiers on Monday (early Tuesday, Manila).
Eala looked poised for an upset over the Slovakian ranked WTA No. 140 when she opened the match with a convincing 6-4 set win to take the advantage early.
But the more experienced Kuzmova was able to rebound in the second salvo. She took a dominant 4-1 lead early before Eala tried to stage a fight back and got to within a game, 4-5.
The 22-year-old, however, was able to hold on and force the third set decider, 6-4.
Buoyed by her second set win, Kuzmova took the reigns early in the winner-take-all third period as she zoomed to another 4-1 lead.
The deficit then proved too much for the teen tennis star as she lost steam against her more seasoned opponent and bowed out of the tournament.
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