In her first bid to make it to the main draw of a major Grand Slam, the Australian Open, Alex Eala lost to 31-year-old Japanese tennis player, Misaki Doi. Eala lost 6-4, 6-7(1), 3-6.
After a successful 2022 for Alex Eala — where she won the Junior US Open Singles Tournament and reached a career-high ITF ranking of 214 — she ended the year announcing that she made the cut for the qualifying rounds of the 2023 Australian Open.
This acceptance marked her first time competing in a Grand Slam on a professional level. This is a huge milestone in her budding career.
A new battle stage
In her first match in the Qualifiers and on her professional Grand Slam debut, Eala fell to the hands of her 31-year-old competitor, Misaki Doi.
Japanese tennis player Misaki Doi has years of experience over Eala — the Japanese player has played nearly 300 matches and has a career-high No. 30 WTA Ranking — making her a tough competitor for the Junior Grand Slam Champion.
Even so, Alex Eala opened the match against Doi on a strong note, winning the first set, 6-4.
Following her strong start, the Filipino continued to rally, as she took the lead second set, 4-2. However, Doi found spirit on the court and eventually took the lead, 6-5. The set went into a tiebreak, where Doi came out successful, winning by 7-1.
Finally, Doi continued her momentum in the third set, taking the early lead, 4-2. Eala continued to fight for her life in the match, reaching 3-5, and fending off two match points. However, Doi was able to break Eala for the win.
With the win, Misaki Doi moves advances to the following round of the Australian Open qualifiers. In order to qualify for the main draw of the Grand Slam, a player must win three rounds.
On the other hand, Filipino tennis champion Alex Eala bows out of contention for the 2023 Australian Open Main Draw.
“My team and I did everything we planned to, executing everything really well. I was so happy with how my team constructed those five weeks,” Eala wrote in her latest ITF blog post.
At 17 years old, Eala is already stepping into the spotlight in several major tournaments. Going up against some of the best in the world, every match is an experience that she will add to her belt and grow from, and we will definitely be seeing her on the professional stage again very soon.
Banner image from Alex Eala on Facebook.