Pinay athlete Alexandra "Alex" Eala has made history as the first Filipino to win a grand slam in singles title at the 2022 US Open Women's singles event.
The 17-year old player defeated No. 2 seed Lucie Havlickova of Czech Republic in the girls finals, 6-2, 6-4, on Saturday night (Sunday in the Philippines) at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York City.
The No. 10 ranked Eala and No. 2 seed Havlickova were engaged in a tight exchange early in the opening set. They were knotted at 2-2 after the fourth game.
The pride of the Philippines stepped up her game after upsetting Havlickova in the fifth game and in the seventh game before closing out the first set on her serve in the eighth game.
In the second set, Eala broke Havlickova’s serve anew but the Czech took advantage of Filipina’s two double faults to take a 2-1 lead. However, the Pinay batter managed to keep in step and keep the score tied at 4-4 before she made her move in the 9th game as she broke Havlickova’s serve to regain the lead.
With her impressive serves and wise placements, Eala, a product of the Rafael Nadal Academy, practically knocked the fight out of the Czech in the next two matches to capture her first-ever singles grand slam victory.
Eala recorded fewer unforced errors at 21 as compared to Havlickova’s 32. The Filipina netter also had better service percentages compared to her Czech rival.
Prior to her successful US Open stint, the Pinay player had impressive campaign in the early going. She eliminated Canadian Annabelle Xu in the first round, 6-3, 6-0, and Slovakian Nina Vargova in the second round, 6-2, 6-3, before beating Canada’s Victoria Mboko, 6-1, 7-6, in the semifinals.
“Buong puso ko po itong pinaglaban hindi lang para sa sarili ko kundi para makatulong din ako sa kinabukasan ng Philippine tennis. Hindi lang ito panalo ko—panalo nating lahat," Eala disclosed.IMT Sports