TENNIS history has been made as teen sensation Alex Eala became the first Filipino netter to win a Grand Slam junior singles title Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022 (PH time).
The 17-year-old beat World No. 3 Lucie Havlickova of the Czech Republic, 6-2, 6-4, in the final to reign in the 2022 US Open girls’ singles competition at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, USA.
Eala displayed her prowess in the championship match that lasted 68 minutes to snatch the title from erstwhile champ Havlickova en route to a historic crown.
During the trophy presentation, Eala turned emotional, as she thanked all the people behind her triumph.
“Buong puso ko itong ipinaglaban, hindi lang para sa sarili ko kundi para makatulong din ako sa kinabukasan ng Philippine tennis. So hindi lang ‘to panalo ko, panalo natin ‘to,” she said.
“I fought for this (title) wholeheartedly, not just for myself but to also help the future of Philippine tennis. This isn’t just my victory, it’s our victory.)
Eala made it to the finals by beating Victoria Mboko of Canada, 6-1, 7-6 (5), in the semifinals. In the early rounds, Eala outlasted her Russian doubles partner Mirra Andreeva, Annabelle Xu of Canada, Nina Vargova of Slovakia and Taylah Preston of Australia.
Eala is the Philippines’ top-ranked player in the World Tennis Association at 297 in the world.
CHAMP. Teen sensation Alex Eala kisses the Grand Slam trophy—the first ever in Philippine tennis history. / Photo from Alex Eala Facebook page
September 11, 2022
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