Tennis

Alex Eala starts WTA season early in Canberra, gears up for Australian Open qualifiers

Ariel Ian Clarito

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Alex Eala starts WTA season early in Canberra, gears up for Australian Open qualifiers

POWER. Alex Eala in action in the 2023 WTA Jasmin Open in Monastir, Tunisia.

Jasmin Open's Facebook page

Alex Eala looks to start her 2024 season with a bang by competing in a WTA Canberra tournament – a gauging point of her readiness for the 2024 Australian Open

MANILA, Philippines – Filipina tennis star Alex Eala hopes to build on her strong finish last season by getting off to a big start in 2024 in the WTA Workday Canberra International, set to take place from January 1 to 6 at the Canberra Tennis Centre in Australia.

Currently 190th in the world, the 18-year-old Eala will be facing a high-caliber main draw field that includes six players in the world’s top 100.

These include world No. 83 and Wimbledon quarterfinalist Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland, world No. 94 Nao Hibino of Japan, and world No. 96 Oceane Dodin of France.

Also seeing action in Canberra is former world No. 5 Sara Errani of Italy and former world No. 47 Wang Yafan of China.

In Eala’s last tournament for 2023, she made the finals of the W40 ITF Petange in Luxembourg, where she lost in straight sets to the 27-year-old Dodin.

Eala will be seeking to finally make it past the opening round of a WTA event. She made the main draw of six WTA events in 2023 but suffered first round exits in all six tournaments. The only time she has won an opening round match in a WTA event was in 2021 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

The $164,000 WTA Workday Canberra International will be a good gauge for Eala to determine her readiness for the 2024 Australian Open qualifiers which will begin on January 8.

Eala will be joining a number of big names in the qualifiers, including former US Open champion Emma Raducanu, Errani, former world No. 11 and Australian Open quarterfinalist Alize Cornet of France, and former world No. 15 Kaia Kanep of Estonia.

It will be Eala’s second time playing in the Australian Open qualifiers. She dropped a close three-setter to former world No. 30 Misaki Doi of Japan in last year’s opening round. – Rappler.com

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