Wildcard entry Alex Eala makes her main draw debut at the prestigious Miami Open this week when she clashes with American Madison Brengle in the opening round.
The development came after the draws were released recently, with Eala and Brengle bracketed at the lower part of the 128-player field.
If successful against Brengle, the 16-year-old Eala will have a chance to meet 29th seed Ludmilla Samsonova after the Russian earned an opening-round bye.
Other seeded players in the lower brackets were second seed Iga Swiatek, fourth seed Maria Sakkari, No. 7 Garbiñe Muguruza, No. 10 Jelena Ostapenko, and 14th seed Coco Gauff.
Brengle would be the highest-ranked Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) player that Eala would have faced in her pro career at No. 59.
Eala is at No. 565.
The 31-year-old American has won two WTA singles titles and seven ITF doubles titles, and went as far as the fourth round of the 2015 Australian Open singles.
In 2021, Brengle finished in the second round of the Roland Garros and third round in Wimbledon.
Brengle also boasts of upset victories of Top 10 players such as Serena Williams at the Auckland Open in 2017, Sofia Kenin at last year’s Wimbledon, and Petra Kvitova twice in the 2015 Stuttgart Open and 2016 Dubai Championships.
But Eala is expected to give it all out in her toughest match to date after playing several ITF tournaments.
She is coming off a Round of 16 finish at the W25 Joue-Les-Tour in France early March.
Last year, Eala earned a wildcard entry in the qualifiers of this WTA 1000 tournament but lost to Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova in the first round.