TEEN tennis sensation Alex Eala started off her new pro tourney right by overpowering Simona Waltert of Switzerland, 6-1, 6-4, in the 32-player opener of the International Tennis Federation’s W25 Manacor, in Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca, Spain.
It's the third $25,000 professional tournament in her very young career.
It was a strong start for the fifteen-year-old ace, who limited the 20-year-old to just a single point in the first set of the match.
In the second set, however, Waltert mounted a rally, and even briefly led at 4-3 before the Juniors World No. 3 eventually took over.
The victory was a very promising kickoff for Eala as she enters her fifth pro tourney this year.
Waltert was no pushover foe. Not only does she have dozens of pro matches under her belt, her Swiss opponent boasts a Women’s Tennis Association ranking of No. 284 — almost 500 places higher than the Pinay netter, who’s currently at No. 763.
The Swiss also earned her latest title in the second leg of the W15 Manacor last January, the same contest where Eala clinched her first maiden pro title during its first leg.
The daughter of former national swimmer Rizza Maniego will move on to the second round (16-player pool) of the tournament.
The eve before the tournament, Eala managed to get a snap with tennis legend and head of her academy, Rafa Nadal.
"So lucky, I get a photo with my idol! Thank you for all the opportunities and support," she wrote on Facebook.