Despite a pandemic, Philippine athletes continue to make waves abroad!
The year is starting out strong for Philippine tennis prodigy Alex Eala who, at just 15 years old, has captured her first women’s professional ITF title on Sunday in Manacor, Spain.
Eala outplayed hometown bet Yvonne Cavalle-Reimers with a score of 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 in the Finals of the W15 Manacor ITF Pro Tournament hosted by the Rafa Nadal Academy. The feat is made more exceptional by the fact that she beat 28-year-old Cavalle-Reimers who already has 6 pro tennis titles under her belt.
Despite a frustrating opening frame that saw which Cavalle-Reimers besting three straight games, Eala bounced back with a dominant showing in the second set with a mighty 6-1 run. After tying the match at one set apiece, Eala bucks Cavalle-Reimers efforts to spoil her momentum by gaining a 4-1 lead and icing three straight games herself to seal the victory for the teen tennis whiz.
Tennis legend Rafael Nadal even expressed his ovations to Eala’s landmark victory.
“Congratulations @alex.eala for this important moment in your career. We are all very happy for you! Keep up the good work and attitude. #vamos” the veteran netter wrote. Eala cites the outpouring support from the Rafael Nadal Academy where she fine-tuned her batting gifts.
Eala’s 2020 season proved to be triumphant as she seized her maiden Grand Slam title with a victory in the Australian Open Girls’ Doubles tournament. Afterward, she nailed a semifinal finish in the girls singles of the French Open, becoming the first Filipino junior player to do so in 35 years.
Keep sweeping the competition, Alex!