FILIPINO tennis ace Alex Eala was set to make her $60,000 tournament debut later on Tuesday at the W60 Bellinzona in Switzerland.
Ms. Eala, 15, was to face Margot Yerolymos of France in the opening round of the International Tennis Federation (ITF)-sanctioned event.
It will be the first $60,000 tournament in her young career, which has taken an impressive ascent early in 2021.
The Rafa Nadal Academy scholar and Globe ambassador was to enter the competition off her Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tournament debut two weeks ago at the Miami Open.
In Miami, Ms. Eala played in the qualifiers, but fell short against world no. 104 Viktória Kužmová of Slovakia (6-4, 4-6, 2-6).
Despite her early exit, Ms. Eala’s ascent in the WTA singles rankings continued as she is now ranked 715th in the world — a career high.
In Bellinzona, she qualified as a junior exempt being the third-ranked juniors player in the world.
Ms. Eala has racked up a 12-5 win loss slate in the WTA, while she holds a 17-9 overall record to include her matches in the ITF for the year.
She earned her first-ever singles title since turning professional when she ruled the opening leg of the Rafa Nadal Academy ITF World Tour in Mallorca, Spain, in January. Ms. Eala then followed it up with three consecutive quarterfinal appearances in her next three tournaments. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo