At 15 years old, Alex Eala won her breakthrough women’s pro tournament title on Sunday, January 24, in Manacor, Spain.
The Filipina teen tennis sensation clinched the hard-fought win over home bet Yvonne Cavalle-Reimers, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2, in the finals of the ITF Rafa Nadal Academy World Tennis Tour tournament.
Eala achieved a feat right in her year-opening tournament as Cavalle-Reimers is 13 years older than her and has bagged a total of 6 pro tennis titles.
Despite taking control early in the 1st set, Eala struggled towards the end as she conceded 3 straight games to Cavalle-Reimers and dropped the opening frame.
But the Filipina ace did not falter in the 2nd set as she rebounded by breaking serve right in the opening game to push the match to a deciding set for the title.
As Cavalle-Reimers braced herself to stop Eala’s momentum, the 15-year-old Rafa Nadal Academy scholar shifted the momentum to her side after scoring a tough game to go up 4-1.
Eala closed out the match with 3 straight games, sealing her maiden pro title.
With the cancellation of the Australian Open juniors tournament, Eala and Indonesian partner Priska Nugroho will not be able to defend their 2020 Australian Open juniors doubles title.
But Eala managed to achieve a personal goal of at least nailing her first professional quarters berth especially after missing out on a chance in 2020 due to a mid-tournament cancellation.
After kicking off the 2020 season with her maiden Grand Slam title in Melbourne, the 15-year-old tennis star became the Philippines’ first junior Grand Slam semifinalist in 35 years in the Roland Garros girls singles tournament. – Rappler.com