FILIPINA tennis prodigy Alex Eala has capped off her first W25 pro tournament a little early, losing in the second round of the Spain ITF. But she's keeping her head high, knowing she's gained more than she lost.
On Thursday night (Manila time), the 15-year-old had a slow start against older Lara Salden of Belgium, but came back strong in the second set to force a decider. But then her 21-year-old foe took control of the match, 6-0, 2-6, 6-2.
The defeat took away the Filipina's chance of qualifying in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria quarterfinals.
The Juniors World No. 2, however, has no time to cry over spilt milk. In the pandemic year, she's racked up valuable experience facing older opponents as she departs her fourth pro tournament of 2020.
"She's okay naman. Of course she plays against 20+ year-old athletes so the physical aspect of the game gets highlighted, but we're getting there slowly," Mike Eala, Alex's dad told SPIN Life.
In a Facebook post, the tournament's official page also congratulated Eala for a fruitful participation in the event.
Now, she's dead set on preparing for next tournament this year, the W15 Las Palmas De Gran Canaria, which begins next Tuesday, November 24. She will enter as a Junior Reserved Player.
It will be the tournament to cap off a fruitful year for Alex, who opened great with a Australian Open Juniors Doubles Crown in the first quarter of 2020, as well as making it to the semifinals of the French Open last month.
There's a bright future ahead for Alex.