No. 2 seed and Globe Ambassador Alex Eala defeated Leyre Romero of Spain in three sets, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 to book her place in the last 8 of the girls’ junior tournament of the French Open at Roland Garros in Paris, France.
The Filipina tennis prodigy’s win secured her first-ever singles quarterfinals appearance in a Grand Slam event. Moreover, her victory keeps her on track for a maiden singles title in a Grand Slam tournament. The win, however, didn’t come easy for the world’s number 4.
After cruising to the first set, Eala had to survive a gritty comeback from the unseeded Spaniard who is ranked 54th in the world but two years older than Eala.
Eala got broken in the second set and got behind 1-5 against Romero but was able to claw back by winning the next three games to peg the match at 4-5. Romero, however, was not to be denied as she closed out the second set to send the match to a deciding set.
Just like her previous matches, Eala roared back in the third set. The 15-year-old strung out the first four games to come within two games for the breakout win.
Romero managed to prolong the inevitable by scoring a point before Eala sent her opponent packing two games later.
Earlier, Eala and her American partner Elvina Kalieva lost against the Italian pair of Lisa Pigato and Eleonora Alvisi in their opening match in the girls’ doubles competition.
Eala’s previous best in a junior Grand Slam event was in the 2020 Australian Open when she reached the 3rd round.
Eala is a Rafa Nadal Academy scholar in Mallorca, Spain and has been a Globe Ambassador since 2013.