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Eala crashes out early in Abu Dhabi Open

February 8 ------ Alex Eala crashed out of the prestigious Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open after yielding to a more experienced rival in the opening round in the United Arab Emirates. Eala, who earned a wildcard berth in this WTA500 (Women’s Tennis Association) event, fell short in a tightly-fought opening set before completely losing steam in the second set to succumb to Poland’s Magda Linette, 7-6 (4), 6-1. Both Eala and Linette held their serves in the first set to arrange a tiebreaker where the world No. 55 Polish player cruised to a 4-0 lead. 


The 18-year-old Filipina tennis sensation fought back by winning five straight points to close the gap at 5-all, but Linette’s experience in the crunch proved evident as she claimed the next three points to grab the set victory. They broke each other’s serve at the start of the second set, with the 31-year-old Linette sustaining her momentum by dominating the next five games to win the match. A victory for Eala against Linette could have arranged her a second round meeting with Brazilian sixth seed Beatriz Haddad Maia, who escaped a close second set duel to edge Wang Xiyu of China, 6-2, 7-6 (4). 


The tournament was Eala’s second WTA event this year after competing in the Canberra WTA125 in Australia last January where she lost in the first qualifying round. 




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