Eala tests women’s draw anew, faces Russian
Alex Eala is not about carving her name merely in the juniors division.
The Filipino tennis hotshot is also making strides in her fledgling pro career: She’s looking for a milestone quarterfinal spot in the ongoing W15 Castellon Trofeo Horsan Peninsula in Spain.
In her second pro tournament of the year, the 15-year-old Eala is set to face 17-year-old Russian Oksana Selekhmeteva in the second round on Friday night.
A win would be another first for the Filipino ace, who just this year bagged the girls doubles title in the Australian Open and made girls singles semifinals in the French Open.
Both Eala and Selekhmeteva are left-handed and made it to the tourney as a junior reserve, a spot in the main draw for promising junior players around. They have also represented their countries in Junior Fed Cup.
The comparison, though, ends there as the Russian clearly has the edge in age and experience.
The Russian carries a 691 Women’s Tennis Association rankings in singles and 948 in International Tennis Federation (ITF), having competed in more pro meets. At her age, she’s eligible to compete in 16 women’s tournaments a year compared to 10 events for Eala.
Despite limited chances to compete, the Filipino has cracked the ITF rankings list at 1613 in women’s singles. However, she is No. 3 in the world in juniors.
Eala bundled out hometown bet Alba Carillo Marin, 6-1, 7-6 (2), in the first round, while Selekhmeteva advanced after a 7-6 (2), 6-3 upset over French Alice Rame.
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