The 20-time Major champion Rafael Nadal is preparing for the Aussie swing in Adelaide, serving a two-week quarantine there ahead of the ATP Cup and the Australian Open. Alongside his outdoor duties that take between four and five hours every day, Rafa has also been following results from the W15 Manacor event and one young gun in particular.
The 15-year-old Alexandra Eala from the Philippines trains in Manacor and has been the youngster to watch in the last couple of years. Eala is currently the world's third-best junior and was ranked 2nd, winning her first ITF junior titles at 13 in 2018 and reaching the Orange Bowl semi-final a year later.
Last October, Eala advanced into the final four at Roland Garros and clinched her first professional victories, setting eyes on even higher goals in 2021. Competing at well-known courts in Manacor this week, the youngster is through to her first professional final, defeating four rivals and trying to become the first player born in 2005 with a professional crown!
Nadal sent Alexandra a supporting comment from Adelaide with his famous Vamos, wishing her good luck in the title match. Eala made a perfect start against another 15-year-old Anna Paradisi, beating the Italian 6-1, 6-2 in an hour and 15 minutes.
On Thursday, Alexandra toppled the top seed Seone Mendez 6-4, 6-1 to enter the quarters.
Alexandra Eala is through to her first professional final at 15.
Spending just over two and a half hours on the court in the opening two matches, the youngster need every atom to overcome the 5th seed Carole Monnet 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 in three hours, taking the second set tie break 7-4 and serving well in the decider to reach the semis.
There, Eala defeated Adithya Karunaratne 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 36 minutes, delivering better numbers behind the second serve and scoring six breaks that carried her home. They traded early breaks, and Eala grabbed two more to take the opener 6-3.
The youngster led 5-2 in set number two and moved over the top with a hold at 15 in game ten to advance into the first professional final at the sixth event at this level.