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4:51 pm on 10 January 2023, Tuesday
By Romeo Braceros Jr.
Alex Eala's debut in the women's division of a Grand Slam competition came to a disastrous end when Misaki Doi of Japan defeated her 6-3, 6-7, 3-6 in the opening round of the 2023 Australian Open qualifying round on Court 8 of Melbourne Park on Monday.
Despite a promising beginning, the 17-year-old Filipina goalie had a major breakdown, which gave the 31-year-old Japanese from Oamishirasato the opportunity to come back and win the game in two hours and 37 minutes.
Eala broke Doi in the second set to take a commanding 5-2 lead and get very close to moving on to the second round.
Eala is a youth Grand Slam champion already.
The Japanese player, who is ranked No. 308 in the WTA rankings and has qualified for the second round of both the US Open and the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, showed off her abundance of expertise to win the next four games and move on to the next round.
Doi will attempt to advance to the main draw of this renowned grand slam tournament by defeating Brazil's Lauri Pigossi, the 14th seed and world No. 113.
Eala emphasized that she and her squad did everything possible to prepare before making her professional Grand Slam debut.
However, the 2023 campaign hasn't gone well for her as she was eliminated early from the W60 Canberra International after losing to her former doubles partner Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia in the second round of the qualifying round last week by scores of 6-3, 4-6, and 4-6.
She claimed that she still had a lot of work to do if she wanted to rise to the top of the professional ranks.