Filipino teen tennis sensation Alex Eala is through to the girls doubles event of the 2020 Australian Open tournament on Thursday, January 30 with Indonesian partner Priska Nugroho. The duo pulled off an upset over the top-ranked European duo of Latvia's Kamila Bartone and Czech Republic's Linda Fruhvirtova with a three-set win, 1-6, 7-5, 10-8 in the semifinals at Melbourne Park.
The Southeast Asian pair will face the winner of the match between US tandem Savannah Broadus and Elizabeth Coleman and Slovenia's Ziva Falkner and Britain's Matilda Mutavdzic. Eala and Nugroho lost the first set of their match before coming back to win 7-5 in the second set and 10-8 in the match tie-break (they were down 7-1 in the tiebreak).
Both Eala and Nugroho had lost in the last 16 of the girls singles event on Wednesday. This is Eala's best finish in a singles and doubles event at a junior Grand Slam. 14 year old Eala trains at the Rafael Nadal Academy in Spain and is currently ranked No.
9 in the junior world rankings. She is one of the best junior tennis players on the ITF junior circuit from Asia currently Eala was named the 2019 Milo Junior Athlete of the Year in the San Miguel Corp.-Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Annual Awards Night.
She comes from a sporting family - with her mother Rizzo being a Southeast Asian Games bronze medalist in the 100-meter backstroke while her brother Michael Francis II also being among the young rising stars in tennis. She won the prestigious Les Petit As 14-and-under tournament in 2018 at the age of 12 and made her junior Grand Slam debut at the 2019 US Open.