Alex Eala made an unforgettable splash at her very first Asian Games as she bagged multiple medals and historic wins along the way.
When you think of Gen Z Filipino athletes who are bringing a new level of excitement to Philippines sports, Alex Eala is on that list. The wunderkind has been making a name for herself as one of today’s best Filipina tennis players with historic wins and matches for a few years now. The 18-year-old continued that winning streak with her recent bout at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
As her first time competing in the competition, Alex, who is currently ranked a career-high 190th in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), had a lot of expectations to live up to. And by and large, she did. As her Asian Games journey comes to an end, let’s take a look at the historic firsts she made at the continental competition.
HER FIRST ASIAN GAMES MEDAL
Alex’s debut at the Asian Games was energetic with the 18-year-old bagging not one, but two bronze medals, her firsts in her career. She first got social media talking when she went up against WTA rank 23 Zheng Qinwen and held her to a stunning three-hour match. And while Alex gave it her all, she eventually fell with a score of 1-6, 7-6 (7-5), 3-6.
However, Alex did take home the bronze medal at the Women’s Singles Games and had not only her first match against someone in the WTA Top 25, but also her first set win in the bracket. Later on, she and Francis Alcantara bagged the bronze medal in mixed doubles after they lost to Liang En-shuo and Huang Tsung-hao to a score of 7-5, 6-3 in the semifinals. Still, two bronze medals at your very first Asian Games is nothing to sneeze at.
FIRST FILIPINA TENNIS PLAYER IN 57 YEARS TO WIN A MEDAL AT THE ASIAN GAMES
It’s almost hard to imagine that this lasted for nearly six decades. But Alex Eala is a once-in-a-generation talent, and if there was anyone who was going to end the drought, it was her. 57 years after Patricia Yngyao and Desideria Ampon took home the doubles silver at the 1966 Asian Games, Alex becomes the latest Filipina to bag a medal. Who’s doing it like her?
FIRST WIN IN TENNIS FOR THE PHILIPPINES AT THE ASIAN GAMES IN 17 YEARS
If you want to know how historic Alex Eala’s medals are, she ended the country’s drought in the sport at the Asian Games that is as old as Alex herself. The last time Filipino tennis players took home a medal at the Asian Games were Cecil Mamiit and Eric Taino in 2006 in Doha, Qatar. With Alex’s wins, she reset the drought and earned another mention in the history book.
FIRST FILIPINO TENNIS PLAYER IN 17 YEARS TO WIN MULTIPLE MEDALS AT THE ASIAN GAMES
With her two bronze medals, Alex Eala became the first Filipino tennis player to bag multiple medals at the Asian Games, ending a drought that began all the way back in 2006 with Cecil Mamiit’s men’s singles and doubles medal finishes. Meanwhile, the last Filipina to win multiple medals was Patricia Yngayo back in 1958. It’s giving history-maker and streak-ender.
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