Alex Eala completely dominated Sarah Ibrahim Khan in her Asiad debut on Monday, defeating her Pakistani opponent with a resounding 6-0, 6-0 victory at the 19th Asian Games held at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre.
It took only 39 minutes for Eala to defeat the 32-year-old Khan, who is nearly half her age, and advance to the next round. There, she will face either Kazakhstan’s Aruzhan Sagandykova or India’s Rutuja Bhosale.
“It was a great game and a confidence booster for me,’’ said Eala, who is currently ranked No. 191 in the world.
Seeded fourth in the tournament, Eala limited Khan to only six points throughout their match.
The 18-year-old Filipino tennis prodigy also showcased her prowess with five aces. “I believe I entered the match with a great attitude and mindset,’’ said Eala.
She will also compete in mixed doubles with Ruben Gonzales, both of them armed with impressive credentials.
Another team member is Francis Alcantara, who aims to secure a podium finish that would put an end to the nation’s medal drought in the Games.
Filipino-American Cecil Mamiit was the last tennis player to lead the Philippines to a pair of bronze medals in the 2006 Doha edition.