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Alex Eala jumps 248 places in WTA rankings

Alex Eala continues to prove that she's one of the world's rising stars in tennis.

Just in her second year of joining women's pro tournaments, Eala leaped 248 rungs higher to rank No. 942 in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) rankings on Monday, February 1.

Eala's maiden pro title in the 1st leg of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Rafael Nadal Academy World Tennis Tour boosted the 15-year-old's chances of cracking into the top 1000 women's professional players in the world.

In 2020, the Filipina tennis ace nabbed a career-high WTA ranking of 1,120 as she started joining women's events, while participating in high-level juniors events, including the Australian Open and the Roland Garros.

As comparisons have been made to young women's tennis stars Coco Gauff and former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka, Eala dreams of qualifying for her first women's Grand Slam. (READ: Why Alex Eala’s ITF win should get Filipinos excited)

"It’s a long journey ahead and I will need to keep on working hard!" wrote the Rafael Nadal Academy scholar on her Facebook page.

In the ITF junior's circuit, Eala currently ranks No. 3 behind 2020 Roland Garros juniors singles winner Elsa Jacquemot of France at No. 1 and world No. 2 Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva of Andorra.

But Eala kicked off 2021 by joining 3 straight women's tournaments hosted by the Rafael Nadal Academy in Manacor, Spain, which allowed her to move up the pro rankings.

In the 1st leg, she registered key wins over ITF women's singles No. 2 and the event's top seed Seone Mendez in the 2nd round, and the tournament No. 5 Carole Monnet of France in the quarterfinals.

Eala finally clinched the title when she defeated 28-year-old hometown bet Yvonne Cavalle-Reimers in the finals.

But the teen tennis sensation fell short of a second straight title bid as she lost to tournament No. 7 seed Ylena In-Albon of Switzerland in the quarterfinals.

The Filipina will be joining the 3rd leg as a junior reserved player once again, and hopes to continue her rise in the rankings.

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

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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