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Familiar foe up as Eala starts bid


Alex Eala tennis WTA

Photo from Rafa Nadal Academy Facebook

It would “mean the world” to Alex Eala to win the French Open girls crown this week.

But standing in the way of the Filipino tennis star in the first round is a Briton whom she has a lot in common.

“It would mean the world to do well this week and win a junior Grand Slam singles title. I won the doubles at last year’s Australian Open alongside Indonesia’s Priska Nugroho and remember how it felt,” said Eala in a blog post powered by International Tennis Federation.

“That was fantastic, but winning the singles here would be huge. [But] I don’t want to think that far ahead,” she added.

Good call, because Eala will be facing an opponent tracking the same path as hers.

Like Eala, Matilda Mutavdzic is also a gritty and talented 16-year-old lefty with a World Tennis Association (WTA) title under her belt.

In winning last year’s W15 Melilla finals, Mutavdzic beat Spain’s Yvonne Cavalle-Reimers, 6-2, 7-5.

Now, if the name sounds familiar, that’s because at the expense of Reimers, Eala captured the W15 Manacor title early this year, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2.Seeded second on account of her World No. 3 juniors ranking, Eala and Mutavdzic clash late Monday in Manila. Eala is 624th in WTA—her highest so far—while Mutavdzic is 865th.

“However, as I have said, I won’t be looking too far ahead and will be taking it one match at a time, starting with my first-round clash tomorrow.” Eala wrote. INQ


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