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Alex Eala loses at Miami Open qualifiers, but earns valuable lessons

ALEX EALA
ALEX EALA

By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA

Alex Eala failed in her first foray in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) tournament but earned valuable lessons that will certainly help toughen her game in future big tournaments.

Eala, 15, showed grit in the opening set only to lose the next two in the face of Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova’s power game, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, in the first qualifying round of the Miami Open Tuesday at the Hard Rock Stadium.

The match lasted two hours and 21 minutes, with the 22-year-old Kuzmova banking on her booming serves to disarm the Filipino teen sensation. She produced seven aces.

A win for Eala could have set her up a match against Mexico’s Renata Zarazua for a spot in the main draw.

Despite the defeat, Eala was happy with her performance, especially in the opening set where she produced some beautiful shots that bewildered her rival.

She’s looking for more highly competitive matches in the future.

Eala earned a wildcard berth in the qualifying round of the elite tournament – her biggest competition so far after competing in $15,000 and $25,000 events of the International Tennis Federation.

The tournament is categorized as WTA1000 and is a Premier Mandatory event in the WTA Tour.

Serena Williams won eight titles in the tournament, including her last in 2015, while other previous champions were Ashleigh Barty (2019), Sloane Stephens (2018), Johanna Konta (2017), and Victoria Azarenka (2011, 2016).

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