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Alex Eala starts 2021 with pro tournament win

Alex Eala blitzed off to another great start to 2021 as she advanced to the 2nd round of the ITF Rafa Nadal Academy World Tennis Tour tournament held in Manacor, Spain.

Eala defeated 15-year-old Anna Paradisi of Italy, 6-1, 6-2, on Tuesday, January 19, in the first round of the $15,000 women's pro tournament.

The country's teen tennis sensation, who entered as a junior reserve player, will face the tournament's No. 1 seed Seone Mendez in the next round.

The 21-year-old Australian is currently the ITF women's singles No. 2 player and reached the top rank in September 2019.

ITF junior world No. 3 Eala, on the other hand, is ranked 1,651 in the ITF women's singles, but also started joining women's tournaments just last year.

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.

Instead, Eala targets to nail her first professional quarters berth especially after she missed her chance due to a tournament's cancellation last year.

After kicking off the 2020 season with her maiden Grand Slam title in Melbourne, the 15-year-old tennis star became the country's first junior Grand Slam semifinalist in 35 years in the Roland Garros girls singles tournament. – Rappler.com

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.

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