Pinoy siblings qualify for int’l grand slam

(The Philippine Star) - July 21, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Eala siblings Miko, 10 and Alex, 8, may look like ordinary school kids on campus.

But on the tennis court which has been their “playground” for years, the Eala children stand tall, quietly collecting trophies for their exceptional tennis skills and giving the Philippines two extra sports heroes to root for.

Just recently, Miko collected his 71st trophy and Alex’s her 18th, after winning in the Little Mo International Tennis Championships held at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs

It is the first leg on the road to a possible international tennis Grand Slam.

Miko ruled the boys’ 11-year-old category while his younger sister Alex reigned in the girls’ 8-year-old division.

This is the second Little Mo championship trophy for Miko, who won in 2010 in the 8-year-old category. Apart from the major trophies, the Eala siblings also brought home four more trophies. Miko won the coveted Sportsmanship Award and was the runner-up in the 12s boys double. Alex was the champion in the 12s girls doubles and was runner-up in the 9s girls singles.

The Little Mo International Tennis tournament is an  international tournament for kids under 12 years of age. Held annually for boys and girls the tournament is named after the late US tennis star, Maureen Connolly, who made history by being the first woman to capture the Grand Slam (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open) in one year. She remains the youngest tennis superstar to have achieved that feat at the age of 18.

This year, in recognition of the 60th anniversary of Connolly’s amazing Grand Slam sweep, the tournament organized the Little Mo Grand Slam which consists of three Little Mo International Tournaments. Winner of all three tournaments get to receive the title of Little Mo grand slam champion and a six-foot tall trophy. The Little Mo tournament in Colorado was the first leg and the next round of matches will be in New York Aug. 18-24 and in Florida Dec. 6-11.

Their victories in Colorado automatically qualify both Miko and Alex for the prestigious Little Mo Grand Slam title.

“I am happy that both my sister and I won the titles for our categories and now I am practicing really hard to win the giant trophy and be a Little Mo grand champion to bring honor to the country,” Miko said.

This year alone, Miko won in three international tournaments in higher age brackets, capturing second and third places in the Asian Tennis Federation tournament 14-under Series held in Penang and Melaka, Malaysia.

“I am happy that I won in Colorado Springs. I hope to bring home more trophies, most especially the one that is taller than my dad. I’ll work harder to win in New York and Florida, as well,” said Alex.


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