MANILA – Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Noli Eala lauded his niece, Alex Eala, for winning the girls' title of the US Open.
Eala was among those who stayed awake past midnight on Sunday (Philippine Time) to watch and eventually witness Alex's historic moment in Flushing Meadows, New York as she became the first Filipino ever to rule a singles grand slam tournament, in which she beat Czech Republic's Lucie Havlickova, 6-2, 6-4, in the girls’ singles final.
The sports chronicler that he is, the elder Eala even live-tweeted the match.
"The historic win of Alex is a testament to the Filipino spirit and our strength of character," Eala said in a statement.
The 17-year-old tennis wunderkind is a product of Rafael Nadal's academy, and she has to spend basically her teenage days in Mallorca, Spain for training, sacrificing her time with her family.
Eala lauded Alex now that her sacrifices have finally borne fruit.
"Alex worked long hours and days and sacrificed being away from home to pursue her dream and achieve this milestone in her career. She has proven that the Filipino can be at par with anyone if given a genuine pathway for success. Truly a proud moment for the country," the PSC chairman further said.
On the other hand, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Bambol Tolentino believes this is just the beginning for the younger Eala.
“Alex will go a long, long way in her tennis career, which, is just budding,” the Tagaytay mayor said. “We expect Alex to bring more honors to the country, and her accomplishment would definitely inspire young Filipinos to follow in her footsteps.”
Even Senator Alan Cayetano congratulated Eala for her win, saying, "Ipinagmamalaki ka ng ating bansa at ipinagdarasal namin ang iyong patuloy na tagumpay. Inspirasyon ka sa ating mga kabataan dahil sa iyong galing, sipag, at dedikasyon (Our country is proud of you, and we pray for your continuous success. You are an inspiration to the youth because of your talent, diligence, and dedication)."