Eala beats Chinese foe, moves forward in Thailand Open qualifiers

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Eala beats Chinese foe, moves forward in Thailand Open qualifiers
Alex Eala
Facebook / Alex Eala

MANILA, Philippines — Alex Eala progressed in her bid for a spot in the main draw of the Thailand Open in Hua Hin on Saturday after she won her first qualifying match against China's Han Xinyun.

Eala, seeded fourth in the qualifiers, swept Han, 6-1, 7-6, to near the spot in the main draw. She needs only one more to get to the tournament proper.

In the opening set, Eala jumped the gun to claim the dominant win in the opener and dictate the pace.

But Han, almost double Eala's age at 32, came out with a fight back in Set 2 as she pushed Eala to the limit and forced the tiebreak.

Still, the Rafa Nadal Academy scholar was able to maintain her bearings and clinch the victory after an hour and 53 minutes of action, 7-6(6).

Eala faces a tougher challenge on Sunday when she collides with Kristina Dmitruk for the right to the main draw.

The Belarusian is ranked 234 in the WTA rankings while Eala is 20 spots higher at 214.

Eala is coming off of an early exit in the qualifying rounds of the Australian Open where she failed to hurdle her opening match and ended her bid for a maiden appearance in the main draw of a women's Grand Slam for now.



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