US Open juniors champion Alex Eala is making the most out of her return to Southeast Asia for her attempt to make the grade for a Wimbledon stint later this year.
A few days ago, Eala, a scholar in the Rafa Nadal Academy for Tennis in Mallorca, Spain, bowed out in a commendable effort against 63rd ranked and sixth seed German Tatjana Maria in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, in the WTA Thailand Open.
The 35-year-old Maria was a Wimbledon semifinalist last year after losing to Tunisian Ons Jabeur and needed less than 70 minutes to pull the plug on Eala’s bold bid.
Still, Eala looked at her recent performance as a tool to improve her game.
“It was a great experience getting through the qualies and playing the main draw in the WTA 250K tournament. It was great to be playing back home in Southeast Asia,” Eala said.
Despite the sweep, the now-ranked No. 217 Eala looks to bounce back in her next assignment.
Earlier this year, she stated that her goal is to be more integrated into the WTA Tour.
The Filipino sensation opened 2023 by bowing out early in the W60 Canberra Open before trying her luck in the Australian Open.
Her bid to make the main draw in Melbourne suffered a big blow when Japanese Misaki Doi, once rated world No. 30, dealt her a 6-4, 6-7 (1), 3-6 loss in the qualifying rounds.
So far, Eala hasn’t been making heads turn since the new year kicked in.