SOTY Awards: History maker Alex Eala raises profile of PH tennis

WINNING a grand slam title is one thing, putting the Philippines on the radar in world tennis stage is another.

And 17-year-old Alexandra Eala is at it.



Last September, the teen ace brought home the country’s first-ever singles grand slam title in tennis in the 2022 US Open Girls held in New York City.

In her victory speech, Eala spoke in Filipino, letting the language be heard at that level for the first time in history.



“Buong puso ko ‘tong ipinaglaban, hindi lang para sa sarili ko, kundi para makatulong din ako sa kinabukasan ng Philippine tennis,” Eala said. “Hindi lang ‘to panalo ko, kundi panalo nating lahat.”

Born and raised in the Philippines, Eala proudly carried the flag as she won the third grand slam title of her young career after beating then world juniors No. 3 Lucie Havlickova in the final without dropping a single set, 6-2, 6-4.

This glory added to Eala’s collection of two girls doubles from the 2020 Australian Open with Priska Nugroho and 2021 French Open with Oksana Selekhmeteva.

It is also the best finish by any Pinoy netter in the category, surpassing her own personal best of a semifinal finish at the 2020 French Open, and the 1985 semifinal appearance of Felix Barrientos.

Non-stop grind
All year round, Eala has also kept herself busy going deeper in the women’s circuit as she gets ready for her official transition in a year or so.

She played a total of 21 tournaments in the ITF pros ranging from $15,000 stops to W100s, clinching her second pro title last April in the W25 Chiang Rai in Thailand.

She won her maiden title in the first leg of W15 Manacor, Spain, in 2021, and is still in the hunt for her third.

Through 2022, Eala climbed over 300 places in the Women’s Tennis Association world rankings. From 526th at the beginning of the year, she’s now at her career-best No. 214 – the highest by a player from Southeast Asia.


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