Before we kick off Les Petits As 2019, let’s have a look on the season of our last year’s champions: Alexandra Eala and Victor Lilov.
Alexandra Eala, the first philippine to raise the trophy
Following her title at Les Petits As, Alexandra Eala was granted a wild card for the Qualifying of the Junior French Open (Roland Garros). She won her first match there (defeating the Spanish 18 years-old Paula Arias Manjon 6/4, 6/4) before to loose in the second round (2/6, 4/6 against the American Peyton Stearns).
She was also granted a wild card for a tournament in Jakarta (U18). She reaches the semifinals without losing a single set. In semifinals she had a tough fight against Indonesian Janice Tjen (6/2, 3/6, 6/3). In final, she faced the number 1 seed, Madelyn Nugroho, she succeeded to take a set but couldn’t get the final victory (2/6, 6/4, 1/6).
Following this great experience, she started an incredible summer. She won two Tennis Europe tournaments in a row. The first one in Oosterbeek (Netherlands) and the second one in Nantes (France).
After 10 wins in a row, she was defeated in the semifinasl of Duren tournament in Germany. She lost in three sets over Sierra Solana (6/1, 4/6, 6/1).
To conclude an outstanding summer, she registered for Hasselt tournament (clay) in Belgium. Alexandra won the tournament without losing a single set, defeating the Italian Georgia Pedone – number 4 seed – on an severe score: 6/0 6/4.
In October she started a campaign of three ITF tournaments in Spain. For her last tournament in Spain, she participated to the David Ferrer tournament located in Alicante. She was the number 6 seed. She won the tournament without dropping a set again. In final, she faced Jessica Bouzas Maneiro (6/2, 6/3) to raise her first U18 title.
Then, she returned to Philippines where she played two tournaments. She won the first one in Makati and reached the final of the second one.
At the end of 2018, she received from Tennis Europe the award of the Best Overseas Player of the Year.
Alexandra Eala closed up her season with an impressive 88% of wins on 12 tournaments played during the year. She won 6 tournaments and finished two times runner-up.
Victor Lilov, perpetuates the American tradition
Victor started the season on a tremendous run. He won two Tennis Europe titles in Bolton and Les Petits As. After it, Victor Lilov remained in the USA to work on his tennis and get ready to play U18 tournaments in the USA.
He came back to competition at the Qualifying of Coral Gables (U18) located in the United States. He managed to get out of the Qualifying draw without losing a set. He finally lost his second round against John Bernard (1/6, 2/6) .
Following this good performance, the young American boy participated into two U18 tournaments, one on hard courts at Plantation in Florida and the other one on the grass of Haverford.
Then, he played the National Clay Court Championships in Delrey Beach (U16). He won three games but was logically defeated by Trey Stinchcomb (4/6, 1/6).
Victor was also selected with the USA team to participate to the ITF World Junior Tournament. The USA qualified in the final against the Czech Republic. Victor brought the title to the USA team by winning his match over Hynek Barton (6/3, 6/4). This is the first title of the USA since 2012.
In Boca Raton (U18) in Florida, Victor got from the qualifying to the main draw. On his road, he defeated Tom Grosjean, the son of Sebastien – former French top 10 ATP. He reached to quarterfinals and lost only against Martin Damm (who reached the round of 16 in Les Petits As 2017), future winner of the tournament.
For his only third tournament U14 this season, Victor participated to the Orange Bowl in Florida as the number 1 seed. He reached the final, winning all his matches in two straight sets. Unfortunately for the the last Les Petits As champion, he was defeated by Lam Coleman Wong in a tight match (7/6(3), 6/4). This match ended a series of 17 consecutive wins in the U14 category!
In 2018, Victor has a record of 73% of victories out of 12 tournaments played.
In the U14 category, he played 3 tournaments, won 2 titles, and finished one time runner-up.
Their success in Les Petits As was the starting point of a stunning season for our 2018 champions. We wish them to continue their progression and to follow the footsteps of some of their greatest predecessors such as Kim Clijsters or Rafael Nadal.
Highlights of the 2018 Finals