Eala chalks up first Grand Slam win

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star
Eala chalks up first Grand Slam win
Alex Eala
https: / / www.rolandgarros.com /

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine ace Alex Eala took the first step on the road to the French Open women’s singles main competition with an impressive 6-1, 6-1 victory over China’s Ma Ye-Xin in the opening round of the qualifiers.

Channeling her idol Rafa Nadal, the 18-year-old Eala set the tone for the runaway triumph by storming to a 5-0 tear in the first set and got the job done in one hour and 14 minutes.

“It feels amazing to get my first professional Grand Slam win,” the world No.160 Filipina trailblazer told the tournament’s website.

“It means a lot. My transition has been very smooth. I haven’t skyrocketed up, saying that, I feel like there has been constant progression too. Every match has been a lesson.”

Eala won the girls’ double title at Roland Garros in 2021 alongside Oksana Selekhmeteva but is now competing in the pros. and recently chalked up a breakthrough WTA 1000 victory in Madrid.

The teen sensation needs two more wins to achieve her dreams and become the first Filipina to play a singles main draw match at a Grand Slam.

She must next hurdle world No. 137 Taylah Preston of Australia, who prevailed over Tarah Wurth of Croatia, 6-2, 6-4. If successful, Eala will then go up next against either second seed Julia Riera of Argentina or Harmony Tan of France.

“I train at the Rafa Nadal Academy (in Mallorca) so it’s a given that this place brings up a lot of memories for people that train there,” said Eala.

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