She went to the last round in her first ITF W40 contest.
Alex Eala closed out her year on a strong note after finishing as runner-up in the ITF W40 Kyotec Open in Luxembourg on Sunday.
She had an impressive run to the finals, where she faced France's Oceane Dodin, who had already won four titles this year prior to the tournament. Dodin proved to be too good for Eala, as she cruised to a 6-1, 7-5 win to take home the crown.
Despite the loss, the 18-year-old Eala still had a successful campaign overall this year, highlighted by two bronze medals from her first-ever stint in the Asian Games and a new career-high world ranking of 189 last month.
She surely took note of how far she still has to go after getting swept by Dodin. After all, it's only her fourth year as a professional. It was also her first time to compete in a W40 contest after ruling other ITF tournaments.
The left-handed tennis sensation was still all smiles after the match, as she posed for a photo with her father, Michael Eala, and her coach, Dani Gomez.
The elder Eala, who shared the photo on his Instagram Story, was proud of his daughter's latest achievement.
"Finalist in your W40 ITF tournament, with a strong field of players. Good week, Alex!" wrote the supportive dad.
Eala, who was seeded seventh in the competition, will only get better after another eventful calendar. Her work ethic is already laudable, as proven by her hectic daily schedule at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Spain.
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With her family always by her side, it won't be long until Eala gets her breakout championship as a professional.
For now, maybe she can eat that popular brand of fried chicken she loves. It starts with K and ends with C.
With her runner-up finish, Eala should end the year with a world ranking of 190.