ALEXANDRA “ALEX” EALA at 15 showed she’s made of elite stuff by becoming the first Filipino to win an International Tennis Federation (ITF) seniors professional title on Sunday.
Eala defeated hometown bet Yvonne Cavalle-Reimers, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2, to capture the $15,000 W15 Manacor ITF Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar World Tennis Tour by LG first leg in Mallorca, Spain.
The young Eala pulled off the historic feat away from her parents Mike Eala, a 1985 Southeast Asian Games 100-meter backstroke bronze medalist, and Rizza who monitored her matches from Pennsylvania in the US.
For Eala, her victory is a product of hard work, having been playing competitive tennis since she was 12. In fact, at 15, she is still a juniors player.
“I play a lot of tournaments on my own especially during the pandemic so I am used to playing on my own,” Eala told BusinessMirror through his dad Mike. “But they still serve as a huge motivation in keeping me up at a high-performance level.”
“I am super happy because it’s a huge milestone and I worked so hard the last few months to improve. I am very pleased with the result,” added Eala, whose finals foe is 13 year older than her.
Eala is expected to play in the second leg of the W15 Manacor ITF on Tuesday.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic in Spain, Eala commended her coaches at the Rafa Nadal Academy—headed by Gabi Urpi, Mathilde Muñoz and Daniel Gomez—for providing her with the best international training and exposure for the past two-and-a-half years.
“I still train daily and keep up with my hectic training schedule here in Spain even with safety protocols in place amidst the pandemic,” Eala said. “I usually train in the mornings and attend to my academics in the afternoon.”
Eala, as well as her parents, are scheduled to return home on Saturday.
Alex’s elder brother Miko, 17, is an athletic scholar at the Penn State Tennis Team of the Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania.
Date: January 26, 2021 | By: Josef Ramos | Newspaper: Business Mirror | Source: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2021/01/26/tennis-gods-smile-on-alexandra/?fbclid=IwAR3gvClzUyfvsXZgqqxvWTqUj7Sw5kdh36_2T7HJSOuzETJyg7K5YW4_oM8