Alongside his usual routine last week in Adelaide, Rafael Nadal kept an eye on the W15 Manacor event results. The 15-year-old Alexandra Eala from the Philippines, who trains in Manacor, wrote history as the first player born in 2005 with a professional ITF women's title, showing her rich potential and becoming the one to watch in the upcoming years.
Following the final, Nadal congratulated Eala on her young career's significant moment, urging her to work hard and achieve even more in the years to come. Alexandra is the world's third-best junior and the Roland Garros semi-finalist, winning her first junior titles at 13 and the first professional matches in the season behind us.
Competing at her sixth pro event in a career, Eala defeated five rivals to lift the trophy and write history. Eala made a perfect start against another 15-year-old Anna Paradisi, toppling the Italian 6-1, 6-2 in an hour and 15 minutes.
Alexandra defeated the top seed Seone Mendez 6-4, 6-1 in round two to enter the quarters, looking great on the court so far. Spending just over two and a half hours on the opening two matches, the youngster needed everything from her body 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.
Alexandra Eala claimed the first professional title at 15 in Manacor.
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.
Setting the final clash with Yvonne Cavalle-Reimers, Alexandra stood strong in sets two and three to move over the top and win the title, beating the Spaniard 5-7, 6-1, 6-2. The youngster couldn't hold serve in the opening set (the match kicked off with ten straight breaks) and raised level after losing only three games in sets two and three and race over the top.
They traded breaks at the beginning of the final set, and it was all about Eala in the rest of it, taking the set 6-2 to celebrate the first out of many professional titles.