By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Filipina tennis ace Alex Eala needed only another set to advance but was eventually eliminated.
After taking the opening set against world no. 29 Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia, 4-6, Eala could not capitalize and lost the following next sets, 6-4, 6-2 to bow out of the 2021 Miami Open.
Eala left everyone speechless after brilliantly outplaying the top-seeded player in the first set, displaying her power every time they traded baseline rallies.
Eala’s huge service game enabled her to pull away in the first set with Kuzmova hesitant to go to the net to attack the Filipina – an aspect of the game that would change as the Slovakian changed her approach in the next sets.
Kuzmova picked up the pace in the succeeding sets as she did not allow Eala time to setup her groundstrokes by quickly going into the net.
With Kuzmova getting her groove after an impressive net game, Eala had no answer and ran out of options in the match, dropping the next two sets.
Despite the loss, Eala still put up a valiant fight and will be remembered as one of the most exciting young stars to watch in the new era of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).