MANILA—Young Filipino tennis star Alex Eala was unable to compete in his second professional tournament of the year after withdrawing from W25 Manacor at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Spain.
Tournament organizers told ABS-CBN News that 16-year-old Academy scholar Rafa Nadal was forced to withdraw Tuesday morning due to illness.
Eala, who recently recovered from COVID-19, is already feeling better as of this writing.
No. 526 Eala of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) was scheduled to face No. 8 seed Mandy Minella of Luxembourg in the 1st round. WTA No. 260 Minella, 36, has a career ranking of No. 66 in 2012.
Another teenager, 19-year-old Japanese Himari Sato, replaced Eala in the main draw, which the Filipino entered as a junior bye.
Minella made it to the 2nd round with a 6-1, 6-2 win over the Japanese WTA No. 710 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 stage of the W25 Macanor is scheduled for next week, and Eala is on the acceptance list as an exempt junior.
Eala started the 2022 season as the No. 11 seed in W25 Manacor’s first leg qualifying draw.
She ousted Ella Hojnik of Slovenia and Mia Chudejova of Slovakia before falling to top seed Alice Rame of France.
In 2021, Eala won his first professional title at W15 Manacor. She also won her 2nd junior Grand Slam title at the Roland Garros women’s doubles tournament with Russia’s Oksana Selekhmeteva.
Eala, the world junior No. 8, clinched her first Grand Slam women’s doubles crown at the 2020 Australian Open with Priska Madelyn Nugroho of Indonesia.