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Eala, Pantino to compete at US Open Junior Qualifiers

By Kristoffer Ed Bellen

MANILA—Top-ranked Filipino teenaged tennis players Alex Eala and Arthur Pantino are scheduled to play at the US Open Juniors Qualifiers on Sept. 1-8 at the Cary Leeds Tennis Center in New York City.

The news was first revealed by US-based Filipino tennis coach Ricky Gonzales on Friday.

Eala will play her second Grand Slam Qualifying Tournament for the second straight year while the streaky Pantino will try to make a name for himself at the final major of the year.

Eala’s father, Michael Francis, confirmed the news to Dugout Philippines on Friday evening.

“Yes she will...she’s in the Qualifying draw,” he said.

Last year, Eala earned a spot at the 2018 Roland Garros Junior French Championships qualifiers after winning the Les Petit As, but was derailed by Peyton Stearns of the United States in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4 in the second round.

Recently, Eala, led the Philippine junior girls tennis team to a record-setting 5th place finish at the ITF World Juniors Championship in Czech Republic.

Eala is currently competing at the Grade 1 Prince George County International Hard Court ITF in the United States.

On the other hand, Pantino, who had already amassed one ITF Juniors Singles title this year after defeating Kasidit Samrej, 6-4, 6-2, at the J3 Kuala Lumpur tournament, is playing his best career year so far at the juniors.

Pantino already reached six combined finals appearances in singles and doubles in the juniors circuit this year and is currently riding a 20-7 win-loss record for 2019.

Follow him on Twitter: @KristoffBellen