<
>

Alex Eala advances in Australian Open girls' singles and doubles events

Alex Eala moves into the third round of the Australian Open Juniors with a 6-0, 3-6, 6-1 win over Julie Belgraver. Rafa Nadal Academy/Facebook

Filipina rising tennis star Alex Eala advanced to the third round of the 2020 Australian Open Junior Girl's Singles after ousting Julie Belgraver of France in three sets, 6-0, 3-6, 6-1, Tuesday.

The 14-year-old Eala, the fourth seed of the tournament, will next face 16th-seeded Hong Yi Cody Wong of Hong Kong in the round of 16.

Eala managed to wrap up her second consecutive victory in 1 hour 23 minutes. The game was tied at 40-all when an unforced error from Belgraver gave the advantage to Eala who smashed the clinching point.

Belgraver also had six more unforced errors than her opponent.

This stint is now Eala's most successful in her budding career so far. She managed to advance to the second round of her inaugural Grand Slam tilt, the 2019 US Open.

In doubles competition, Eala and partner Priska Madelyn Nugroho of Indonesia turned back Belgraver and Pia Lovric of Slovenia, 6-2, 4-6, 11-9. In the tiebreaking set the Southeast Asian duo fell behind 0-3 before mounting the comeback win in 1 hour 28 minutes.

With the victory, the duo earned a trip to the quarterfinals later this week, where their opponents are still to be determined.

Prior to that, Eala and Nugroho defeated the duo of Elina Avanesyan of Russia and Liubov Kostenko of Ukraine Monday, 7-5, 4-6, 10-8.

Francis Casey Alcantara is thus far the only Filipino who has won a Grand Slam title, having captured the Australian Open boys' doubles crown in 2009 with Hsieh Cheng-peng of Chinese-Taipei.