MANILA—Young Filipino tennis star Alex Eala was unable to play in her second professional tournament of the year after withdrawing from the W25 Manacor at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Spain.
Tournament organizers informed ABS-CBN News that the 16-year-old Rafa Nadal Academy scholar was forced to withdraw on Tuesday morning due to sickness.
Eala, who has recently recovered from COVID-19, is already feeling better as of writing.
Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) No. 526 Eala was scheduled to face No. 8 seed Mandy Minella of Luxembourg in the 1st round. WTA No. 260 Minella, 36, has a career-high ranking of No. 66 in 2012.
Another teenager, 19-year-old qualifier Himari Sato of Japan, replaced Eala in the main draw, which the Filipino entered as a junior exempt.
Minella breezed to the 2nd round with a 6-1, 6-2 win over the WTA No. 710 Japanese lucky loser on Wednesday.
The $25,000 competition is the second leg of the W25 Manacor of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Women’s World Tennis Tour.
The 3rd and final leg of the W25 Macanor is slated next week, and Eala is in the acceptance list as a junior exempt.
Eala began the 2022 season as the No. 11 seed in the qualifying draw of the first leg of the W25 Manacor.
She ousted Ella Hojnik of Slovenia and Mia Chudejova of Slovakia before falling to top seed Alice Rame of France.
In 2021, Eala bagged her first professional title at the W15 Manacor. She also won her 2nd junior grand slam title at the Roland Garros girls’ doubles tournament with Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia.
Eala, the Juniors World No. 8, clinched her 1st grand slam girls’ doubles crown at the 2020 Australian Open with Priska Madelyn Nugroho of Indonesia.