Tennis

Alex Eala cruises to 1st women’s pro finals

Beatrice Go
Alex Eala cruises to 1st women’s pro finals

DOMINANCE. Alex Eala clinches a finals appearance in her first women's pro tournament of the year.

Photo from Alex Eala's Instagram

Alex Eala dominates Adithya Karunaratne of Hong Kong to make it to the finals of the ITF Rafa Nadal Academy World Tennis Tour tournament

Filipina teen tennis star Alex Eala continues to impress in the women’s circuit as she nailed her maiden pro finals berth in the ITF Rafa Nadal Academy World Tennis Tour tournament on Saturday, January 23.

Eala swept Asian compatriot Adithya Karunaratne of Hong Kong, 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinals of her year-opening women’s pro event held in Manacor, Spain.

The 15-year-old will meet Yvonne Cavalle-Reimers in the finals, as the Spaniard bested Leolia Jeanjean of France, 6-4, 6-2.

Cavalle-Reimers is 13 years older than the Filipina teen ace and has bagged a total of 6 titles in her pro tennis career.

But Eala has already been breaking barriers in the entire tournament as she recorded wins over tournament No. 1 seed and ITF women’s singles world No. 2 Seone Mendez and Carole Monnet, who is seeded No. 5 in the event.

In the game against Karunaratne, Eala broke serve early in the opening set (1-1) that dictated the momentum of the entire match.

But as Eala went up 5-2 in the 2nd set, the Cantonese pulled off back-to-back games to close the gap to 5-4.

Eala then found her footing again as she closed out the match with 3 straight points for the elusive finals appearance.

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 last year 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 country’s first junior Grand Slam semifinalist in 35 years in the Roland Garros girls singles tournament.– Rappler.com

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Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine 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.