Fast Facts About Alex Eala, The First Filipino To Win A Junior Grand Slam Singles Title
Tennis champ Alex Eala ends sports drought as she made history in the 2022 US Open event
It was a standout season for 17-year old athlete Alex Eala, who marked a sports milestone for the Philippines as the first Filipino to become the champion for the tennis competition at the 2022 US Open in Flushing Meadows, New York. Her performance fetched her the country’s first junior Grand Slam singles title at the international tournament last September 10.
With a 6-2, 6-4 win over Czech Republic, the reigning champ has overtaken Lucie Havlickova in their succeeding matches. The Rafa Nadal Academy scholar toppled her opponent, taking the lead in the last game and garnering 40-15. Now a hotshot netter with her historic finish, she honored her fellow Filipinos and her homeland.
In her speech, which she delivered in almost full Filipino, she deeply acknowledged her supporters. She tearfully thanked them, saying, “Buong puso ko 'tong ipinaglaban—hindi lang para sa sarili ko kundi para makatulong din ako sa kinabukasan ng Pilipinas. So hindi lang 'to panalo ko. Panalo natin 'tong lahat.”
She was born Alexandra Maniego Eala on May 23, 2005 in Quezon City, Philippines.
She hails from a family of high-achieving athletes and Philippine sports personalities such as Rizza Maniego-Eala, Miko Maniego Eala, and Noli Eala.
She started playing tennis at an early age. Even before she blossomed into a teen, she has been braving international tournaments.
The tennis sensation is a Rafa Nadal Academy scholar in Spain, where she has been studying since she was scouted.
She relocated to Europe and is currently residing at Mallorca, where the top-tier tennis institution is located.
At only 12 years old, she won the 2018 Les Petits As, a junior tennis tournament for athletes aged 12-14.
She made her junior debut at the 2019 US Open and joined the match at only 14 years old.
Her mother, Rizza Maniego-Eala, was a backstroke bronze medalist in the 1985 Southeast Asian Games.
Her brother, Miko Maniego Eala, is also a budding tennis player, and is training at the Rafa Nadal Academy.
The netter is the niece of former PBA commissioner and sports commentator and figure Noli Eala.
Lead photo from @alex.eala