Alex Eala faces Canadian Xu in US Open junior championship


PINAY tennis ace Alex Eala gets her first taste of juniors action this year with a big stint in the prestigious US Open junior championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.

Ms. Eala, the former world junior No. 2, is seeded 10th in the 64-strong field hoping to capture her first grand slam in the girls’ singles. Ms. Eala is holder of two junior doubles grand slams in the 2020 Australian Open and 2021 French Open.

The 17-year-old wunderkind was to play Canada’s Annabelle Xu in the first round last night as she bids to surpass her quarterfinal finish in the US Open last year.

Ms. Xu, 18, is world No. 24 compared to Ms. Eala, who has slipped all the way to No. 169 due to inactivity in the juniors division in the first half this season.

Ms. Eala opted to focus more on her women’s pro circuit career so far this year, where she has made noise by cracking the Women’s Tennis Association’s Top 300 before opting to return to juniors play in no less than the elite US Open.

She is currently at No. 297 but reached a career-high at 280th last month to bolster a promising pro career highlighted by two titles in Spain and Thailand so far. — John Bryan Ulanday