Alex Eala nears WTA Thailand Open main draw after beating Chinese foe
MANILA, Philippines — Alex Eala moves closer to Thailand Open Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) main draw after beating Han Xinyun of China, 6-1, 7-6 (6), in qualifying first on Saturday at True Arena in Hua Hin.
After dominating the first set, the 17-year-old Filipino took a 0-2 lead in the second set but Han moved closer to force another set to take a 6-5 lead.
Eala was forced to equalize and open the score 6-0 only for the Chinese veteran to score six points in a row. But the US Open girls’ champion showed composure, scoring two points in a row to end the match in one hour and 53 minutes.
Academy pundit Rafael Nadal needs another win to enter the main draw of the $250,000 tournament.
She will face the winner between Ekaterina Yashina of Russia and Kristina Dmitruk of Belarus in the final stages of qualifying.
Eala out of a soon eliminated in the Australian Open qualifiers 2023 with her first Grand Slam appearance as a professional ended by Japan’s Misaki Doi earlier this month.
The Filipino prodigy also rose to the best ranking of her career at the WTA at world number 214.
Eala is aiming for her third time attending the main draw of the WTA tournament after reaching the second round of WTA 250 Romania 2021 and in the Miami Open last year.
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