Eala makes main draw

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF usopen.org Alex Eala gets a shot at glory in the $80,000 W80 Rancho Santa Fe event in California.

US Open girls champion Alex Eala took out Alana Smith of the United States, 6-0, 6-0, yesterday to barge into the main draw of the W80 Rancho Santa Fe at the Rancho Sante Fe Tennis Club in California.

It took Eala just 54 minutes to get the job done and put herself in the running in the $80,000 netfest.

In the first round of the qualifying draw, Eala took down Latvia’s Deniza Marcinkeva of Latvia, 6-1, 6-3.

This is the 17-year-old Rafael Nadal Academy scholar’s second tournament in the United States after winning in the US Open last September.

The Women’s Tennis Association’s No. 281 netter is aiming for her third women’s title after winning the W15 Manacor last year and W25 Chiang Rai last April.

In the first match in the main draw, Eala faces another American entry in Dalayna Hewitt in the round of 32.

Hewitt, placed at No. 401 in the WTA rankings, only won one tournament in the W15 Monastir last May.

Eala will be coming into the event oozing with confidence.

In contrast, her US rival made the roster as a wild card entry, making Eala the favored player in their matchup.

“I really want to focus on my ITF World Tennis Tour performance and, if possible, compete in some WTA events to test myself further. Those are my aims and ambitions from here,” Eala wrote on her blog.


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