Alex Eala faces tough road to Asian Games podium

Alex Eala

FILE – Alex Eala during the W100 Vitoria-Gasteiz. Photo from Alex Eala’s Facebook

HANGZHOU, China—Tennis prodigy Alex Eala secured an opening-round bye in women’s singles during the draw on Saturday before the 19th Asian Games officially got off the ground.

The 18-year-old Eala clinched the fourth seeding in the tournament after a series of impressive performances in high-profile meets overseas.

Eala’s medal drive begins Monday before pairing with Ruben Gonzales at the start of the mixed doubles event at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Tennis Centre come Tuesday.

She has installed herself as one of Asia’s rising stars after Eala netted her fourth International Tennis Federation crown in Great Britain last month.

On her maiden stint at the continental sports showpiece, Eala faces a tall order on her way to the podium with Chinese top netter Zheng Qinwen and Ankita Raina of India out to frustrate the Filipino.

Zheng pulled off an upset over Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur in the recent US Open in New York to reach the quarterfinals while Raina was the bronze medalist of the 2018 meet in Palembang, Indonesia.

Gonzales will team up with Francis Alcantara as they seek to begin their bid on an auspicious note against a Thai duo that Hangzhou organizers have yet to name.

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