Red-hot Eala plunges back into action
Alex Eala
Julien Crosnier / FFT

Red-hot Eala plunges back into action

John Bryan Ulanday (The Philippine Star) - January 27, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Hungry for more success, there will be no rest for Filipina tennis prodigy Alex Eala as she plunges into her second straight event in Spain after netting her first pro-career title last weekend.

The 15-year-old lass seeks to carry on the momentum with a first-round tussle with Mirjam Bjorklund of Sweden today in the second leg of the W15 Manacor ITF Rafael Nadal Academy World Tennis Tour in Mallorca.

Like her seasoned opponents in the first stop, the ITF Juniors No. 3 will be tested by the 22-year-old Bjorklund, the tournament No. 2 seed with over 200 pro games and six ITF titles in her pocket.

Only in her second year in the pro circuit, Eala last Sunday announced her strong presence against a veteran field, ruling the opening leg of the W15 Manacor tilt over 28-year-old hometown bet Yvonne Cavalle-Reimers 5-7, 6-1, 6-2.

In the same tourney, Bjorklund suffered a 7-5, 6-1 quarterfinal defeat against Hong Kong’s’ Adithya Karunaratne, whom Eala dispatched in the semis with a 6-3, 6-4 victory.

Eala’s other wins on her way to her maiden ITF title were against ITF No. 2 Seone Mendez (6-4, 6-2) of Australia, Italy’s Ana Paradisi (6-1, 6-2) and  France’s Carole Monnet (6-7, 7-6, 6-4).

Now at No. 942 in the women’s singles rankings after starting the year at No. 1651, Eala is expected to go deep in the $15,000 conclave after earning praises from mentor and world No. 2 Rafael Nadal, who is set to play in the Australian Open.

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