If you ever had the slightest doubt that Alex Eala was a tennis superstar in the making, check again. She just became the First Filipino to win a junior Grand Slam at the US Open.
In just over two years, Alexandra Eala went from young tennis prodigy with a promising career in the sport to arguably the next Pinoy superstar in tennis. Barely even 18, Alex has consistently proven that not only is she the best tennis player in the Philippines as of the moment, but also has continuously made history that’s reminiscent of a young Serena Williams.
And over the weekend, Alex arguably achieved her most significant career feat when she won the Junior Grand Slam Singles at the US Open.
HISTORY AT THE US OPEN
On September 10 (early morning on September 11 PH time), Alex Eala served her way to history when she clinched the Junior Grand Slam Singles Title at the US Open. On her way to the win, she defeated reigning French Open girls’ champion Lucie Havlickova 6-2, 6-4. In a span of 68 minutes, Alex and the Czech Republic tennis ace had a fierce and on occasion tense match in Flushing Meadows, Queens. But in the end, it was Alex who scored a decisive victory. With her win, Alex just broke several career and historic milestones. She became the first ever Filipino to take home the title at the US Open. She also achieved her first Singles champion win of her career (her two previous Grand Slams were for doubles).
Alex’s accomplishment feels even better when you realize that for her US Open debut in 2019, the then 14-year-old just made it to round two. In a span of just a few years, she went from that to winning the whole thing. For the Rafa Nadal Academy-trained tennis star though, winning the title was not only an achievement for her, but for the Philippines as well as she shared during her speech after the match. “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.”
EVEN MORE Ws FOR ALEX
With her win at the 2022 US Open, Alex scored her second professional title of the year and third overall. Back in April, she defeated hometown favorite Luksika Kumkhum in 6-4, 6-2 to take home the trophy and win the W25 Chiang Rai tournament in Thailand. Her 2020 Girls Doubles Aus Open and 2021 Girls Doubles Roland Garros trophies (the first Filipino to do so) will now have more company on the trophy shelf. And this is on top of the three bronze medals she won in the mixed doubles, women’s team event, and the women’s single event at the 31st SEA Games back in May. The 17 year old, who is currently ranked 288 in the Women’s Tennis Association’s (WTA) world rankings, is truly having a banner year so far.
May her win be another reminder that we should never limit ourselves to certain sports and be open and supportive of those who want to try their hand at other games.