Sports

Alex Eala

Photo Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

Alex Eala is a Grand Slam champion breaking barrier after barrier while only in her teens

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Alex Eala has ended a long Philippine drought in the sport as she racks up win after win on the international circuit. Eala began this streak in 2020 when she became the first Filipina player in over a quarter of a century to capture a berth at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Junior Tennis tournament; later that year, her debut at the US Open Juniors competition made her the first Philippine player in a Grand Slam tournament in 28 years.

In 2020, she climbed to the number two spot at the ITF Girls’ Junior rankings, having reached the semifinals at that year’s French Open girls’ singles competition and winning the Australian girls’ doubles event with partner Priska Madelyn Nugroho; the latter also made her the first Filipino to win a Juniors Grand Slam event since 2009. Later that year, Eala made it to the semifinals of the juniors’ singles event at the French Open, again making history as the first Filipino to reach that stage of a grand slam tournament since 1985.

In 2021, she and partner Oksana Selekhmateva won the French Open girls’ doubles title, giving Eala her second Grand Slam championship.

Currently residing in Mallorca, the Rafa Nadal Academy scholar has also been studying at the American International School of Mallorca. After entering the 2018 Roland Garros Junior Championships as a wildcard entry, Eala accepted a scholarship at the elite institution, where she is able to train with other hitters from all over Europe.

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Alex Eala was born into a sports-minded family: her mother, Rizza Maniego-Eala, is a SEA Games bronze medallist for swimming; and her brother, Miko, plays tennis for Pennsylvania State University. 

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