YOUNG Filipino tennis star Alex Eala continued to roll at the 2020 French Open Juniors’ Grand Slam Tournament, chalking up a hard-earned victory over Mara Guth of Germany in second-round play on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time) in Paris, France.

Eala, 15, took the rain-delayed match in three sets, winning, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 to advance to the third round of the tournament.

The currently Mallorca, Spain-based player had her way in the opening set, but was greatly challenged in the second, forcing her to dig deep.

The match was tightly fought in the last set, with the match tied at 4-4 at one point.

Eala, however, proved to be the steadier player, never looking back when she got the upper hand en route to closing out the match.

In the third round, Eala, the number two seed in the tournament, will take on Spain’s Leyre Romero Gormaz, a 6-3, 7-5 winner over Russia’s Diana Shnaider in their own second-round encounter.

World number 4-ranked Eala is also set to see action in doubles play with teammate Elvina Kalieva of the United States. Their doubles team is seeded third in the tournament.

They were drawn to start their campaign first against the Italian duo of Eleonora Alvisi and Lisa Pigato.

In this year’s edition of the French Open, Eala is hoping to pick up from her winning ways early this year before the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the tennis season.

Globe Telecom ambassador Eala won the 2020 Australian Open juniors’ double events with partner Priska Nugroho of Indonesia in January. She was looking forward to building on it, but the pandemic and the subsequent postponement of events did not allow her to.

By winning the Australian Open juniors title, Eala made history by becoming the first Filipina to win a grand slam title, be it in juniors or seniors play. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo