By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Filipina tennis sensation Alex Eala missed another chance of progressing in the ongoing Miami Open after suffering a first-round exit at the hands of World no. 34 Irina-Camelia Begu- 2.6, 5.7- last March 21, 2023.
Eala was on the verge of forcing a deciding third set after going up by a comfortable 5-1 lead in the second set but the young superstar faced tons of problems after the more experienced Romanian ace flipped the switch in just a blink of an eye.
Begu pulled off her tricks midway through the second set that caught Eala off guard and sparked the start of her emphatic comeback.
The seeded Romanian player put more emphasis on her service game and won all of her possessions en route to a shocking 6-0 run that sucked the life out of Eala.
Despite a sharper baseline game from the Filipina after getting exposed by Bega in the net game during the first set, Eala still couldn’t weather the storm and had difficulty handling her quick offense.
Bega revolved around her net and drop ball prowess to limit Eala’s court movement, proof is her three successive drop ball scores to take a 6-5 lead.
The higher-seeded veteran then put the icing on the cake after unleashing two down-the-line forehand winners that officially booted Eala out of the prestigious major tournament.
It was the same result when Eala booked a ticket during the 2021 Miami Open and will be looking to bounce back when she rejoins the rest of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) circuit tourneys in the following months.
As of now, the 17-year-old star will be training again in hopes of grabbing a spot in the upcoming 2023 French Open to be held in Paris, France, on May 28-June 11, 2023.