Alex Eala blows huge lead, suffers early exit in Australian Open

Primed for a sweep, Alex Eala falls apart in the second set as she gets the boot from Japan’s Misaki Doi in her first-ever professional Grand Slam tournament

MANILA, Philippines – A first-ever professional Grand Slam tournament proved to be a different beast for Filipina tennis ace Alex Eala.

Eala suffered an early exit in the Australian Open after squandering a huge lead against Japan’s Misaki Doi, absorbing a 4-6, 7-6 (1), 6-3 loss in the first round of the women’s singles qualifying draw in Melbourne on Monday, January 9.

Primed for a sweep, the 17-year-old Eala fell apart in the second set as Doi – who is 14 years older – banked on her experience to complete the come-from-behind victory.

Eala broke Doi to grab a commanding 5-2 lead in the second set and move on the cusp of advancing to the second round, but the Japanese displayed steely nerves and clinched the next four games to seize the upper hand.


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