DESPITE her gallant efforts, Alex Eala surrendered to Slovak Republic’s Viktoria Kuzmova, 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, in the first round of the qualifying draw in the 2021 Miami Open on Tuesday morning at Hard Rock Stadium, Florida, USA.
The Filipina ace was given a wild card entry in the prestige pocket tournament joined by the top Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) players in the world.
Her stint, however, was cut short as Kuzmova, a WTA no. 104, pulled off a late comeback.
The teen prodigy had a strong start, clinching the first set 6-4, before the 22-year-old foe, who once attained a world rank of No. 43, rallied back in the second and forced a decider.
The match that lasted 2 hours and 21 minutes, and put an end to Eala's Miami Open hopes.
Nevertheless, the Florida trip was still a useful one. Prior to the opener, she was able to practice with some of the top-ranked women's players in the world.
“Transitioning from being a junior to a professional is a scary point in one’s career. I am unsure about what the future holds and there are a lot of ups and downs. My family never failed to support me and know they are rooting for in whatever I do,” she said in a release from WTA.
Her parents, Mike and Rizza, also joined her in Miami.