MANILA, Philippines – Alex Eala marches to Thailand Open main draw as she sweeps Kristina Dmitruk of Belarus, 6-2, 7-5, in the second qualifying round on Sunday at True Arena in Hua Hin.
After an overwhelming victory in the first set, 17-year-old Eala showed grace under pressure in the second set as ninth seed Dmitruk was on the verge of being forced to play a decisive game with a lead. 6-5.
But the Filipino prodigy won two games in a row to close the final stage of qualifying at 77 minutes.
Eala, who recently placed the best of her career in the Women’s Tennis Association as world number 214, passed the tournament’s main draw at $250,000.
The Thai Open, which begins on Monday and ends on February 5, brings together the world’s top women’s tennis players, led by the top seed Bianca Andreescu of Canada.
It will be her third major draw in the WTA tournament as the defending US Open women’s singles champion reaches the second round of the WTA Winners Open in Romania and last year’s Miami Open.
Academy scholar Rafael Nadal was eliminated early in the tournament’s qualifiers Australian Open 2023 with his first Grand Slam appearance as a professional was ended by Japan’s Misaki Doi in early January.
Thailand Open is Eala’s fifth WTA event, which includes qualifying draws in Miami Open 2021 and Madrid Open last year in Spain.
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