By Alex P. Vidal
“Tennis is a mental game. Everyone is fit, everyone hits great forehands and backhands.”—Novak Djokovic
NOW that 17-year-old Pinay sensation Alexandra “Alex” Eala is the new darling of the US Open junior singles, we expect tennis in Asia, particularly in the Philippines, to experience a Renaissance.
Eala’s conquest of No. 2 seed, Lucie Havlickova from the Czech Republic, in the recent final, was no coincidence.
Before left-handed Eala made many heads turn, there was Leylah Fernandez in the women’s division who made waves last year.
Although now 20-year-old Fernandez is from Canada, she is half Filipino.
Fernandez was 19 when she became a runner-up at the 2021 US Open to fellow teenager Emma Raducanu, defeating three top-5 players en route to the final including defending champion Naomi Osaka.
Before her sterling performance in this year’s US Open junior division
Eala was the No. 10 ranked ITF junior.
She was No. 2 on October 6, 2020, or two years before clinching her first grand slam this year.
The sensational Pinay teener achieved a career-high singles ranking by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) of 280 on August 1, 2022.
Before she became a grand slam winner this year, Eala was the highest ranked Filipino female singles player in WTA history, surpassing Maricris Gentz, who peaked at world No. 284 on October 18, 1999.
We can conclude that Eala’s coronation as a grand slam champion was not a coincidence but only a matter of time.
WHEN some people assassinate our character because they can’t think and write the way we do, will we stoop down to their level?
Will we engage them in mudslinging, their forte, to get even?
Come to think of it.
Jesus Christ mocked and nailed on the cross.
Mary Magdalene stoned and called a whore.
Socrates found guilty of “introducing new gods” by a slender majority in a jury of 501 and forced to kill himself by drinking hemlock.
Julius Caesar stabbed in the back by envious senators led by neurotic Brutus (“Et tu, Brute?”) and ambitious Cassius.
Darius severely wounded before being killed in losing Persia to Alexander the Great in the Battle of Arbela.
Montezuma humiliated in his own territory in Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City, by Hernando Cortez.
Napoleon Bonaparte in Waterloo.
The Battle of Acium. Holocaust.
Love birds Mark Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide. Ben Hur and El Cid. Pearl Harbor.
The Bay of Pigs. Gomburza. Jose Rizal. Andres Bonifacio. Antonio Luna. John F. Kennedy.
Martin Luther King. John Lennon. Moises Padilla. Ninoy Aquino.
Bruno burned at stake by the Catholic Inquisition. Galileo forced to recant the heliocentric theory and spent years in jail.
Bloody Mary beheaded. Thomas Moore beheaded for refusing to solemnize the marriage of Queen Elizabeth’s father King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn. Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution guillotine.
Diego Silang and his wife Gabriela executed.
Dona Aurora, wife of President Quezon, and their daughter Baby Quezon, killed in ambush by Hukbalahap.
Alexander Hamilton, Magellan, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Rasputin, Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler all died violently. And so on and so forth.
These great men and women suffered humiliation and cruel deaths.
Why should we bawl out our jealous and envious critics?
According to Jewish editor, Harry Golden, there are at lease four billion suns in the Milky Way, which is only one galaxy.
Many of these suns are thousands of times larger than our own, and vast millions of them have whole planetary systems, including literally billions of satellites, and all of this revolves at the rate of about a million miles an hour, like a huge oval pinwheel.
Our own sun and its planets, which includes the earth, are on the edge of this wheel.
This is only our small corner of the universe, so why do not these billions of revolving and rotating suns and planets collide?
The answer is, the space is so unbelievably vast that if we reduced the suns and the planets in correct mathematical proportion with relation to the distances between them, each sun would be a speck of dust, two, three, and four thousand miles away from its nearest neighbor.
And, mind you, this is only the Milky Way — our own small corner — our own galaxy.
How many galaxies are there? Billions.
Billions of galaxies spaced at about one million light years apart (one light-year is about six trillion miles).
Within the range of our biggest telescopes there are at least one hundred million separate galaxies such as our own Milky Way, and that is not all, by any means.
The scientists have found that the further you got out into space with the telescopes the thicker the galaxies become, and there are billions of billions as yet uncovered to the scientist’s camera and the astrophysicist’s calculations.
When we think of all this, it’s silly to worry whether the allegations of our critics will really change the way we live in society.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)