MANILA, Philippines – Alex Eala claimed her spot in the main draw of the WTA Thailand Open after posting a 6-2, 7-5 win over Belarus’ Kristina Dmitruk at the True Arena in Hua Hin on Sunday, January 29.
Just like her victory over Chinese veteran Han Xinyun in the first round of the qualifiers, Eala breezed in the opening set against Dmitruk before she arrested a meltdown in the second frame to advance in the $250,000 event.
The 17-year-old Filipina blew a 4-2 advantage in the second set and saw Dmitruk seize the upper hand at 5-4 after winning the next three games.
But Eala displayed poise and resolve against an opponent who is two years older as she knotted the score at 5-5, broke Dmitruk for a 6-5 lead, and blanked the Belarusian in the final game for the win.
Eala needed just 1 hour and 19 minutes to dispose of Dmitruk.
Tougher foes await Eala in the main draw, including former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu of Canada and former Wimbledon semifinalist Tatjana Maria of Germany.
Eala will plunge back to action on Tuesday against world No. 70 Tatjana Maria of Germany. – Rappler.com
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