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2:45 pm on 9 January 2023, Monday
By Romeo Braceros Jr.
In the Australian Open (AO) qualifying first round, Alex Eala of the Philippines will make her professional grand slam debut Monday against Misaki Doi of Japan, a former player in the Top 30.
The 31-year-old Japanese veteran is ranked 172 in the world, while the 17-year-old Filipino tennis phenom is ranked 215 in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), with a career-high ranking of No. 30 in 2016.
Doi, who advanced to the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2016, has triumphed at San Antonio and Bastad with two WTA 125 Series victories.
Eala, the 2022 US Open Juniors singles champion, stated on her International Tennis Federation (ITF) blog that she is "over the moon" to be competing for a spot in a major tournament's main draw for the first time before the AO qualifying draw.
According to the AO's schedule for January 9, Eala and Doi are slated to play first on Court 8 of Melbourne Park in Victoria.
Eala's second competition of the year is the AO Qualifiers, coming after the W60 in Canberra on January 2, where she was eliminated in the second round of qualifying.
Eala holds two girls' doubles slam wins from the 2020 Australian Open and 2021 Roland Garros in addition to her US Open Juniors singles victory.
She won the titles at the ITF Women's World Tennis Tour's 2021 W15 Manacor and 2022 W25 Chiang Rai.
Former ITF Juniors World No. 2 Eala will participate in the ITF Grand Slam Player Development Program in 2022.