By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter
FILIPINO tennis ace Alex Eala propelled her ascent in the sport after bagging her first-ever professional title.
Fifteen-year-old Eala won the Rafael Nadal Academy World Tennis Tour title on Sunday night (Manila time), coming from a set down to beat hometown bet Yvonne Cavalle-Reimers in the finals, 5-7, 6-1 and 6-2, in Manacor, Spain.
The win was a continuation of her solid run of late that saw her win the Australian juniors doubles title in January last year then making the semifinals of the French Open juniors tournament later in 2020.
And just like any “firsts,” Ms. Eala considers her latest achievement as very memorable and something she looks to build on moving forward.
“This is another memorable one! My first pro win! Thank you very much to my family and to my extended families, RNA and Globe! I truly appreciate all your messages of support as well!“ said Ms. Eala in a Facebook post, referring to the Rafa Nadal Academy, where she is a scholar, and Globe Telecom, where she is a brand ambassador.
Ms. Eala dug deep to beat Ms. Cavalle-Reimers, 28, who pulled the rug from under the Filipino in the opening frame, overhauling a 4-5 deficit, to take an early cushion in the game.
In the next two sets, Eala would not relinquish momentum when she got her groove en route to the groundbreaking victory.
Following her first International Tennis Federation (ITF) pro win, tennis superstar Rafael Nadal congratulated his scholar on Instagram.
“Congratulations @alex.eala for this important moment in your career. We are all very happy for you! Keep up the good work and attitude. #vamos,” wrote the 20-time Grand Slam singles winner.
Globe, too, congratulated its brand ambassador and reiterated its support for her.
“We would like to congratulate Alex on her historic win. Indeed, it is very refreshing to watch the young Filipina triumph on the global sports stage. We are very proud of Alex and we look forward to seeing her again in her future matches,” said Ernest L. Cu, Globe President and CEO, in a statement.
Ms. Eala is the number 3 junior player in the ITF and currently ranked 1,180th in the world.
She was in the country for the holidays before going back to Spain.