Tennis

Alex Eala exits in opening round of WTA 250 Japan Open

Ariel Ian Clarito

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Alex Eala exits in opening round of WTA 250 Japan Open

PHILIPPINE BET. Alex Eala in action in the international tennis circuit.

Alex Eala's Facebook page

Home bet Himeno Sakatsume plays the role of unwelcome host in the WTA 250 Japan Open, blasting Filipina tennis star Alex Eala in the opening round

MANILA, Philippines – Alex Eala could not summon her A-game as she was dealt a 6-0, 6-3 drubbing by local bet Himeno Sakatsume on Tuesday, September 12, in the opening round of the WTA 250 Kinoshita Group Japan Open Tennis Championships.

Eala was thoroughly dominated by the 22-year-old Satsume, who broke the Filipina teen thrice to easily bag the opening set, 6-0.

The Japanese raced to a 2-0 lead in the second set. Eala finally showed some signs of life by pocketing the next two games to tie the count at 2-2.

The Filipina teen had a real crack at finally gaining some headway as she went up 40-15 in the 5th game, but Satsume fought right back to not only break serve anew but also to surge ahead at 4-2.

Satsume would not give Eala any chance to stage a rally, closing out the match in the 9th game at the Otsubo Tennis Center in Osaka, Japan, after just an hour and 14 minutes.

Satsume pounced on Eala’s unsteady serve the entire match, converting to points 78% of her returns of the Filipina’s second serves and breaking Eala a total of six times.

Eala had to go through the qualifying phase to earn a spot in the main draw of the $250,000 WTA event. She prevailed over 25-year-old Fernanda Contreras of Mexico, 6-3, 6-4, on Saturday, September 9, then survived a testy 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 three-setter against Shogun Park of South Korea on Sunday, September 10.

This is the fourth time in 2023 that Eala lost in the opening round in straight sets in a WTA event. She earlier saw action in the Madrid Open, the Miami Open, and the Thailand Open.

The first and only time Eala made it past the opening round of a WTA event was in the 2021 Winner’s Open in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She remains the only Filipina in history to win a WTA Tour match.

Eala is coming off an appearance in the $100,000 Ando Securities Open Tokyo 2023 last week, where she made the second round in singles and the semifinals in doubles. – Rappler.com

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