The much-anticipated showdown between the world’s top junior players—Victoria Jimenez-Kasintseva and Alex Eala—fizzled out after the Filipino ace suffered a quarterfinal upset on Saturday in the J1 Roehampton in London.
The second-seeded Eala, who eliminated 18-year-old Mara Guth of Germany (6-4, 6-2) in the third round, fell prey to eighth seed Linda Fruhvirtova of Czech Republic, 6-4, 6-1.
Kasintseva, the 15-year-old Andorran ranked No. 1 in the world and seeded first in the tournament, cruised to the semifinals with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Dana Guzman of Peru.
Experts had pegged a finals showdown between Eala and Kasintseva. The former doubles partners, who reached the quarterfinals of the W25 in Madrid last month, orbit the same tennis spaces and a collision was inevitable in this tournament.
But Eala had no answer for Fruhvirtova, who she had previously defeated (6-3, 6-3) in their first encounter in South Africa, two years ago.
The grass tournament serves as a dress rehearsal for Wimbledon slated next week where Eala and Kasintseva are expected to finally clash.
Kasintseva drubbed Czech Republic’s Nikola Bartunkova, 6-3, 6-1, to progress to the quarterfinals late Friday. She won the 2020 Australian Open girls singles, the same year Eala bagged the girls doubles trophy along with Indonesian Priska Nugroho. INQ
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