MANILA – Tennis sensation Alex Eala made the country proud when she teamed up with Priska Nugroho of Indonesia to rule the 2020 Australian Open juniors doubles tournament in Melbourne Park, Australia on January 31.
Eala, only 14, and her Indonesian partner swept the European duo of Slovenia’s Ziva Falkner and Britain’s Matilda Mutavdzic, 6-1, 6-2, to win the championship.
Eala also became the first Filipino to win a juniors grand slam since Francis Casey Alcantara also captured the Australian Open boys’ doubles title with Hsieh Cheng-peng of Chinese Taipei in 2009.
This is also the sixth doubles title for Eala and Nugroho since they teamed up in 2017.
For her successful showing in one of tennis’ four grand slam events, Eala is the hands-down choice of the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) as its “Athlete of the Month” for January.
“Like all the other great Filipino athletes who made us proud in the last Southeast Asian Games, Eala did very well to put local tennis in the international map again,” TOPS president Ed Andaya of People’s Tonight said in a news release.
“Her success serves as an inspiration to the Filipino youth who hope to make a difference in the wonderful world of sports,” Andaya added.
Eala earns the distinction as the first “Athlete of the Month” by TOPS for 2020.
For winning the 2020 Australian Open juniors doubles tournament, Eala reportedly jumped from No. 9 to No. 4 in the world juniors circuit ranking.
TOPS is the newest sports organization composed of editors, reporters, and photographers from the country’s leading tabloids.
Last year, TOPS voted for Manny Pacquiao (January), Jasmin Mikaela Mojdeh (February), Natalie Uy (March), Ernest John Obiena (April), June Mar Fajardo (May), the Philippine Canoe Kayak and Dragon Boat Federation team (June), Obiena (July), Antonella Berthe Racasa (August), Obiena (September), Caloy Yulo (October), Margielyn Didal (November), and Roger Casugay (December).
TOPS is also the presenter of the “Usapang Sports”, a weekly forum held at the National Press Club and sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, National Press Club, Pagcor, Community Basketball Association, and HG Guyabano Tea Leaf Drink with live streaming from Glitter Live Stream of actor-director Carlo Maceda. (PR)