Filipina teen tennis sensation Alex Eala netted another career-high in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings as she moves five spots away from cracking into the top 500.
Eala is now ranked No. 505 in the professional tennis circuit after her debut in the 2021 Winners Open, a WTA 250 tournament that made its tour debut on the clay courts of Cluj-Napoca in Romania and offered a prize money of $235,238.
The 16-year-old Filipina won the opening round against world No. 207 and 28-year-old Paula Ormachea of Argentina, 7-5, 6-2.
But Eala exited in the round of 16 when she fell to world No. 97 Mayar Sherif of Egypt, 6-2, 6-2.
Eala last saw Grand Slam action in the 2021 Wimbledon tournament, where she made a maiden appearance.
The Rafael Nadal Academy scholar exited the singles event in the second round and suffered an upset loss in the doubles second round, where she teamed up with 2020 Australian Open juniors doubles champion partner Priska Nugroho of Indonesia.
The 16-year-old Filipina will continue her third title hunt in the next Grand Slam after she bagged championships with Nugroho in the 2020 Australian Open, and most recently, in the the 2021 French Open girls doubles with Russian partner Oksana Selekhmeteva.
In last year’s French Open, Eala also made history as she became the first Filipino in 35 years to reach the last four of a Grand Slam juniors singles event since Felix Barrientos in the 1985 Wimbledon.
At 15 years old, Eala became a pro titlist in the women’s $15,000 tournament in Manacor, Spain at the start of the year. – Rappler.com