By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Alex Eala begins her French Open Juniors campaign on Monday when she clashes with Great Britain’s Matilda Mutavdzic.
Eala, 16, enters the Grand Slam tournament as the second seed following her International Tennis Federation (ITF) juniors ranking on No. 3.
This isn’t the first time that Eala and Mutavdzic will be facing each other.
In 2019, the two battled in the semifinals of the JA Cape Town event in South Africa where the Filipina star emerged victorious, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
Eala is banking on her experience in the pros after seeing action in nine tournaments this year, including a debut title victory at the W15 Manacor in Spain last January.
She is currently ranked No. 624 in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).
The unseeded Mutavdzic, also 16, has also been campaigning in the women’s circuit but has yet to win her a title this year after seeing action in 10 events.
She came close in the W15 Sharm El Sheikh tournament in Egypt last March where she lost the finals to Japanese Yuriko Lily Miyazaki in straight sets.
A semifinalist last year, Eala seeks her first Grand Slam singles title and second overall after winning the 2020 Australian Open Girls Doubles crown with Indonesian partner Priska Madelyn Nugroho.