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Tennis star Alex Eala becomes first Filipino to win Grand Slam singles championship

filipino grand slam
  • Filipino tennis star Alex Eala became the first Filipino to win a junior Grand Slam singles title after winning the U.S. Open girls’ singles championship on Saturday.
  • The 17-year-old athlete defeated Lucie Havlickova of the Czech Republic in the final match of the tournament held Sept. 4-10 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
  • “I wholeheartedly fought for this not only for myself but also to help with the future of Philippine tennis. So, this is not just my victory, but the victory of all of us,” Eala said in Filipino during the awarding of her trophy.
  • Eala, who won the girls’ doubles titles at the 2020 Australian Open and the 2021 Roland-Garros, also participated in the Junior Girls’ Doubles draw with Russian No. 14 seed Mirra Andreeva, but was eliminated in the second round by Germans Carolina Kuhl and Ella Seidel.
  • Eala, who started playing in professional tournaments in January, currently holds two ITF titles: the 2021 W15 Manacor in Spain and the 2022 W25 Chiang Rai in Thailand.

The Philippines’ Alexandra “Alex” Eala became the first Filipino to win a Grand Slam singles championship at the US Open Juniors in New York City.

The 17-year-old athlete, who had previously won two junior doubles Grand Slam titles, was the No. 10 seed going into the tournament, which was held Sept. 4–10 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

The Fab 4: Chinese women make tennis history at US Open

fab 4 tennis players
  • US Open history was made on Thursday when four Chinese women reached the final 32 of a grand slam event.
  • Zheng Qinwen and Yuan Yue were joined by Wang Xiyu and Zhang Shuai for the third round.
  • Zheng defeated Russia’s Anastasia Potapova in straight sets and will be going up against Germany’s Jule Niemeier in the third round.
  • Yuan will face Jessica Pegula of the U.S. on Saturday for a spot in the final 16.
  • Zheng has been a rising star of Chinese tennis, with her ranking rising to 39th in the world following a series of tournament performances.

US Open history was made on Thursday as four players became the first four Chinese women to reach the third round of a grand slam event.

Tennis stars Zheng Qinwen and Yuan Yue joined Wang Xiyu and Zhang Shuai in the final 32 of the US Open on Thursday. 

Tennis legend Roger Federer fulfills ‘pinky promise’ to young boy

  • A viral video showing tennis legend Roger Federer fulfilling a “pinky promise” he made to a young fan five years ago is melting netizens’ hearts.
  • In 2017, Izyan Ahmad asked the 20-time Grand Slam winner during a press conference at the U.S. Open if he could “continue to play for eight, nine years so that I can play you when I go pro?" 
  • Federer responded with a “pinky promise” to the boy that they would play together someday.
  • Now 11 years old, Ahmad is in the top 10 of the U.S. rankings for both singles and doubles in the boys’ 12 and Under category.
  • On Aug. 8, Italian food company Barilla uploaded a video showing Federer fulfilling his promise to Ahmad with a well-fought match.  
  • During the game, Federer can be heard complimenting the way Ahmad plays between volleys.

Tennis legend Roger Federer is melting netizens’ hearts for keeping a “pinky promise” he made to a young fan five years ago.

In 2017, longtime fan Izyan Ahmad was able to ask a question to the 20-time Grand Slam winner during a press conference at the U.S. Open. 

Wu Yibing makes history as first Chinese man to win Grand Slam singles match in 63 years

  • Chinese tennis player Wu Yibing, 22, beat Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili, 30, in the opening round of the U.S. Open on Monday, making him the first Chinese man to win a singles match at a Grand Slam event in 63 years.
  • Wu beat Basilashvili 6-3, 6-4 and 6-0 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City on Monday.
  • “It’s happy and exciting but still more matches to come,” Wu told ATP Tour. “The third set, I don’t know if he was hurting or something, I just tried to make all the balls and tried to stay in the game, not thinking about winning or losing. That’s why I guess I didn’t show much emotions. I feel pretty calm.”
  • Prior to Wu’s victory, the last Chinese man to win a U.S. Open singles match was Cheng Guy in 1935.

Chinese tennis player Wu Yibing made history this week by becoming the first Chinese man to win a singles match at a Grand Slam event in 63 years.

Wu, 22, beat Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili, 30, in the opening round of the U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City on Monday.

Naomi Osaka pays tribute to Serena Williams ahead of Grand Slam queen’s last US Open

  • Japanese professional tennis player Naomi Osaka, 24, paid tribute to her idol Serena Williams, 40, at a press conference for the U.S. Open on Saturday.
  • “She's introduced people that have never heard of tennis into the sport. I think I'm a product of what she's done,” Osaka told reporters. “I wouldn't be here without Serena, Venus, her whole family. I'm very thankful to her.”
  • Osaka and Williams have faced each other four times on the court, with the Japanese star beating her idol in three of their matches.
  • Williams is set to face Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic in her final U.S. Open tournament on Monday, while Osaka will play against American athlete Danielle Collins on Tuesday.

Japanese professional tennis player Naomi Osaka paid tribute to her idol, Serena Williams, ahead of the legendary athlete’s final U.S. Open before she retires.

Osaka, 24, spoke about Williams, 40, at a press conference for the U.S. Open on Saturday, proclaiming that her idol has “changed the sport [tennis] so much.”

Emma Raducanu defeats soon-to-retire Serena Williams in their first — and likely last — match against each other

emma vs serena
  • U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu defeated 23-time grand slam singles champion Serena Williams in the opening round of the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday night.
  • Raducanu, who was dominant from the beginning of the match, ended the game in a 6-4, 6-0 win in straight sets.
  • Williams previously announced her retirement from tennis in an essay published in Vogue on Aug. 9, noting her desire to have another child.

Defending U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu defeated 23-time grand slam singles champion Serena Williams in the opening round of the 2022 Cincinnati Open.

In Raducanu’s first and likely last game against Williams, the British tennis player claimed victory in the highly anticipated opening-round match at the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday night. 

Photo shows 8-year-old Naomi Osaka watching 22-year-old Rafael Nadal at 2006 US Open

  • An iconic photo showing an 8-year-old Naomi Osaka watching a 22-year-old Rafael Nadal competing at the 2006 US Open emerged on Twitter over the weekend.
  • Twitter user @miathermopol1s, who posted the photo, said the photo was from Aug. 23, 2006.
  • The image shows Osaka in the stands with her younger sister Mari Osaka, who also later competed in several WTA and ITF matches.
  • Osaka has previously spoken about her adoration of Nadal, telling WTA Tennis in April, "I know that every kid growing up playing tennis in the world has pretended to be Nadal at least once."
  • In the very stadium she watched the Spaniard, the Arthur Ashe Stadium, Osaka won the US Open trophy some 12 years later.

An iconic photo featuring a very young Naomi Osaka watching a 22-year-old Rafael Nadal compete at the US Open is making the rounds on social media. 

In the image, the Japanese Haitian future WTA Tour champion can be seen in the stands right behind the Spanish tennis legend.

Naomi Osaka backs out of Wimbledon due to injury: ‘I’ll see you next time’

  • Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka, 24, has officially backed out of this year’s Wimbledon, with the tournament confirming her withdrawal on Saturday.
  • “I feel like life keeps dealing cards and you're never going to be used to them but it's how you adapt to uncomfortable situations that really says stuff about your character," Osaka said on Instagram and Twitter on Saturday.
  • She also shared that her Achilles tendon “still isn’t right” and that she is “trying to find the positives in a negative situation.”
  • The world’s former No. 1 female tennis player was injured in Madrid last month, causing her to miss the 2022 Italian Open on May 9 in the lead-up to the French Open.
  • Osaka had previously hinted that she might not compete at Wimbledon this year, mentioning the decision of the Association of Tennis Professionals and the Women's Tennis Association to remove Wimbledon’s ranking points during her post-match conference at the French Open.

Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka has officially confirmed she will not be competing at Wimbledon this year due to her Achilles injury.

Osaka, 24, announced her decision to withdraw from the tournament on Twitter and Instagram on Saturday, sharing that her Achilles tendon “still isn’t right” and that she is “trying to find the positives in a negative situation.”

Chinese teen attributes her French Open loss to menstrual cramps: ‘I wish I can be a man’

After falling short of a potential French Open upset against world No. 1 Iga Swiatek, of Poland, on Monday, China’s Zheng Qinwen lamented about the menstrual pain she endured during the match. 

Zheng, who defeated 2018 champion Simona Halep before reaching the fourth round of her first Roland Garros tournament, told reporters after the match that the loss left her wishing she was a man.

WTA head says ban on Chinese events to continue until Peng Shuai resolution reached

WTA
  • Women's Tennis Association (WTA) CEO Steve Simon said the body will be continuing the blanket ban it announced last year until they are assured of Peng Shuai’s safety.
  • The three-time Olympian and grand slam doubles champion vanished from social media in November last year after she made a sexual assault accusation against retired Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli.
  • Peng later denied the allegations, and discussions about it have since been scrubbed from the Chinese internet.
  • In February, Peng met with officials from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during the Beijing Winter Games but Simon said it was not enough to ensure Peng's safety.
  • "We remain dedicated to finding a resolution to this," Simon was quoted as saying. "We want to find a resolution that Peng can be comfortable with, the Chinese government can be comfortable with, and we can be comfortable with.

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has announced that it will continue its suspension of all tournaments in China this year as it continues to seek answers about Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai’s situation.

The international body expressed concern about the three-time Olympian and grand slam doubles champion when she vanished from the public eye in November last year after accusing retired Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault. 

Peng Shuai says her sexual assault allegations were a ‘huge misunderstanding’ in rare interview

Peng Shuai
  • Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai held her first Western media interview since her disappearance in November 2021 with French sports magazine L'Équipe on Sunday at the Chinese Olympic Committee’s hotel in Beijing.
  • The three-time Chinese Olympian said her now-deleted Weibo post was a “huge misunderstanding” and hoped that people do not add more hype to the issue. She said she removed the Weibo post, because she "wanted to."
  • Peng denied making sexual assault allegations against former vice-premier Zhang Gaoli, whom she accused of sexual coercion in a Weibo post in November 2021.
  • The 36-year-old tennis star also hinted that she might retire from tennis.

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai has denied the sexual assault allegations she made against a retired top Chinese Communist Party official last year, saying it was a “huge misunderstanding.”

In an interview with French sports magazine L’Équipe, the 36-year-old athlete’s first Western media interview since her disappearance in November 2021, Peng revealed nothing much has changed in her life, The Washington Post reported.

Australian Open reverses ban after outcry over confiscation of fans’ ‘Where is Peng Shuai?’ shirts

  • A viral Tiktok showed security officers at the Australian Open confiscating fans’ shirts and banners that expressed support to Chinese athlete Peng Shuai.
  • After facing heavy criticism, the Australian Open organizers released a statement saying fans are not allowed to hold political protests at the tournament.
  • Peng Shuai, 36, is a popular Chinese athlete who suddenly vanished from the public eye in November last year after accusing a former top-ranking Communist Party officer of sexual abuse. She denied ever making the accusation a month later.
  • Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley backtracked on the ban days later.

Tennis Australia, the organizing body of the Australian Open, sparked online criticism after a video emerged on TikTok showing fans being prohibited from wearing shirts that reference Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai at the tournament.

The video, which was posted on TikTok over the weekend by human rights activist Drew Pavlou, shows security officers at Melbourne Park confiscating shirts and banners emblazoned with the phrase “Where is Peng Shuai?”, reported ESPN