MANILA, Philippines – Alex Eala returned to juniors action in style after breezing past Annabelle Xu, 6-3, 6-0, in the opening round of the US Open girls’ singles tournament in New York on Sunday, September 4.
The 17-year-old Filipina lived up to her billing as the 10th seed by seeing off the unseeded Canadian in just 1 hour and 17 minutes for one of the quickest matches in the first round.
Xu, who is a year older, kept in step with Eala early and trailed 3-4 in the maiden set before the Filipina teenager claimed the next two games to seize control of the match.
With the momentum on her side, Eala blanked Xu in the second set as she cruised to the sweep that saw her unleash 17 winners – more than double the 8 winners the Canadian fired.
Eala will face another unseeded foe in Nina Vargova of Slovakia in the next round.
Once the second-ranked juniors player in the world, Eala looks to make a splash in the US Open after spending the entire year playing in the professional circuit.
Eala reached the quarterfinals of the US Open in 2021, in what ended up as her last juniors event before she decided to see action in Flushing Meadows this September. – Rappler.com