Alex Eala made it to the semifinals of the US Open girls singles tournament, defeating doubles partner Mirra Andreeva of Russia, 6-4, 6-0, in the quarterfinal at Flushing Meadows in New York Thursday.
A scholar at the Rafael Nadal Academy, Eala needed only 70 minutes to chalk up her best performance so far in the tournament.
Last year, Eala bowed out in the quarterfinals.
In the semis, Eala, ranked 297 in the Women’s Tennis Association No. 297, faces Victoria Mboko of Canada on Friday.
In the doubles play, Eala and Adreeva crashed out of the second round after not showing up in their match against Germans Carolina Kuhl and Ella Seidel.
Eala, who now competes in the professional circuit, is enjoying a good run of form this season and has a good chance of winning her first singles title.
Her two titles came from the doubles in the 2020 Australian Open with Priska Nugroho of Indonesia and the 2021 French Open with Russian partner Oksana Selekhmeteva.
After last year’s US Open, Eala honed her skills by competing against professionals and represented the Philippines in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi last May.
On her way to the Final Four, Eala took down Canadian Annabelle Xu, 6-3, 6-0, in the first round before blitzing past Nina Vargovia of Slovakia, 6-2, 6-3.
Eala, seeded 10th, toppled eighth seed Taylah Preston of Australia, 6-2, 7-6, to set up a match with Andreeva.
One of those impressed by Eala’s latest feat is her uncle, Philippine Sports Commission chairperson Jose Emmanuel “Noli” Eala.
In a social media post, he lauded the young star’s hard work and dedication and hopes she will be an example for aspiring athletes.
“Hard work, dedication and sacrifice will always lead to something great. Alex has shown this in her young career,” the PSC chief said.
“May she continue to serve as an inspiration to our many young boys and girls. Let’s go Alex! Laban.”