Eala vows to strike back
Alex Eala
STAR/File

Eala vows to strike back

Dante Navarro (The Philippine Star) - October 11, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The morning after missing a dream French Open girls’ singles final stint, young Alex Eala vowed to come out better, stronger the next time a crack at a Grand Slam glory comes along.

She also expressed thanks to her supporters and guaranteed a more explosive showing in her future big-time forays.

“Many lessons learned this week. Glad to say that I reached the semifinals of this year’s Roland Garros Juniors,” said Eala on an FB post yesterday.

“Thank you to everyone who messaged me and took the time to follow me throughout the tournament,” she added. “The amount of support I’ve received is tremendous and I cannot thank you all enough.”

That shouldn’t be a cause for concern for the Filipino prodigy, who put the country back on the world tennis map by reaching the semis of one of the Slam events.

But ranged against a taller and more experienced rival, Eala succumbed to French lass Elsa Jacquemot and absorbed a stinging 6-3, 6-2 defeat to duplicate Felix Barrientos semis stint in the 1985 Wimbledon boys’ singles.

“Going to work harder to come back stronger,” she vowed.

Bracing for the new normal after the coronavirus outbreak, the next Slam would come no later than January 2021 for the traditional kickoff event, the Australian Open where Eala made it to the third round in singles play the last time out but posted a milestone win in the doubles with Pristina Nugroho of Indonesia.

She was aiming at bettering that record with a French Open triumph but Jacquemot, 17, proved just too tough, too strong a rival to hurdle in their faceoff, dropping a 64-minute match.

But with her talent, skills and resolve, and overwhelming support from her countrymen all over the world, it would be just a matter of time – and breaks – before the 15-year-old wonder could break into the elite circle of junior Slam winners.

ALEX EALA
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