Alex Eala misses W60 Canberra main draw
MANILA, Philippines — Alex Eala failed to reach the main draw of the W60 Canberra, suffering a 6-3, 4-6, 4-6 loss to No. 7 seed Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia in the second round of qualifiers on Monday in Australia.
The 17-year-old Filipino netter couldn’t sustain her first set win as Selekhmeteva fought her way back by unleashing strong starts in the last two sets to prevail in a two-hour and 26-minute match.
The Russian, who is currently World No. 189 in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), won all her last three matches against Eala, including the main draw-clinching victory of the $60,000 Canberra tilt.
Eala managed to recover from a 1-4 deficit in the third set as she turned it to a one-point game, 4-5, but Selekhmeteva, also her former doubles partner in the 2021 French Open juniors, displayed grace under pressure to complete her come-from-behind win.
The Rafael Nadal Academy scholar started the New Year with a bang as she opened the qualifiers on a high note, beating the No. 16 seed Marcela Zacarias of Mexico, 6-3, 7-6(0), on Sunday.
Eala, who is currently WTA World No. 215, is preparing for her Australian Open qualifiers debut this January.
It will be the reigning US Open Juniors singles champion’s first stint in the professional level of a Grand Slam tournament.