Alex Eala showed the world she could do it, becoming the first-ever Filipino to win a junior grand slam girls singles title in the 2022 US Open on Sunday at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center in New York City.
Eala, 17, outlasted Czech’s World’s No. 3 Lucie Havlickova, 6-2, 6-4, in the finale of the Junior Circuit. Overall, this is Eala’s third grand slam achievement after bagging the 2020 Australian doubles Open with Priska Nugroho of Indonesia and the 2021 French Open doubles with Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia.
“I fought wholeheartedly not only for myself but also to help the future of Philippine tennis. My victory is not only for me — it’s the victory of every Filipino,” Eala said in her speech after the awarding ceremony.
“First of all, I would like to thank my family. Without them, I do not know if I can achieve this. I would like to thank also to those who prayed, to my sponsors and my teammates to Rafael Tennis Academy.
She broke her personal best — a semifinal finish in the French Open in 2020. It is the best finish by any Filipino tennis player in a singles grand slam.
Image credits: Troi Santos