It is not often you see players from the Philippines turning heads in the tennis world and, although it is very early to get excited, Alexandra Eala looks set for a stellar career. At least it would appear that way judging by the results the 14-year-old Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar player is producing this season.


In fact, she was part of a historic achievement for the Philippines. The country had not been represented in the girls’ draw at a World Junior Tennis Finals since 1993 and in August of this year in Prostejov (Czech Republic) she and her team finished in fifth place, eventually losing two ties against the two teams that would eventually meet in the final: USA and the Czech Republic.


After this team success, Eala started her preparations for the US Open Junior tournament, where she produced some wonderful tennis in her qualifying matches to reach the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time in the category. She also won a match in the main draw at Flushing Meadows against the Australian Annerly Poulos 6-1, 6-2, but Thai player Mai Napatt Nirundorn then put an end to her adventure in New York. However, in the doubles she notched up another victory alongside Elina Kalieva, also a Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar player.


Her solid performances on the hard courts of the USA gave the Filipino a huge confidence boost. From the Big Apple she travelled with her Rafa Nadal Academy coach Daniel Gómez to Stellenbosch (South Africa) to play in an ITF Junior Grade 2 tournament, where she reached the semi-finals and fell at the last hurdle for the doubles title, playing with Kalieva again.


But her biggest moment came a week later in Cape Town (South Africa). This time, in a Grade A tournament, Alexandra Eala took the individual spoils and reached the semi-finals in the doubles. It was the just reward for her new-found confidence and some outstanding tennis. However, the success did not stop there. While September was a certainly a month to remember, she managed to maintain her form in October.


She brought her game from South Africa to Osaka (Japan) last week, where she was back in competition on the ITF Junior Tour in another Grade A category tournament. On the Japanese hard court she produced some solid and aggressive tennis, as well as improving on her serve, combining sliced backhands with the nerve to pull off some drop shots. She reached another final and only a more experienced player three years her elder, the French Diane Parry, was able to keep her hands off the trophy. “Although her play was already very good at previous tournaments, in Japan she produced a more solid and aggressive game, demonstrating huge improvements on her serve, her backhand slice and her drop shots” explained Rafa Nadal Academy coach Daniel Gómez.


The results have not come as a surprise. Eala was already showing promise a few years back, and she already won Les Petits As in Tarbes and reached the final of the Orange Bowl Under-12. After a period recharging her batteries, she will be ready to travel again next month to Miami to battle for the title there. Given the hard work she has put in, there is no reason she cannot dream of more success. And as the Filipino proverb goes: “If you persevere, you will reap the fruits of your labour”.

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