February 28, 2024

Alex Eala opens up about demands of turning pro ahead of Asian Games debut

Alex Eala opens up about demands of turning pro ahead of Asian Games debut
Facebook/Alex Eala

Alex Eala is one of the marquee names for the Philippines in the 19th Asian Games currently held in Hangzhou, China. A big reason behind that is, of course, she was the first-ever Filipino to win a junior singles title at the US Open. As she turned pro, she has bagged multiple ITF titles, while also recently breaking the top 200 in the world rankings.

Now, the tennis sensation is ready to strut her stuff in her first-ever Asian Games. She will be competing in the women’s singles and the mixed doubles alongside Ruben Gonzales.

When asked how this was any different compared to her other tennis outings, Eala told One PH’s Power & Play that she carries the same mindset whether she competes in a regional meet like the Asiad or in her pro tournaments.

“Sa isip ko, I’m always representing naman the Philippines. I try to treat this as just another tournament, even though it’s a good tournament. I’m just trying to keep my head down and focus on what I need to do next,” Eala said.

As the 18-year-old athlete continues to move up the ladder, the challenges only become tougher. And as a pro, the hindrances only seem to multiply.

While she has numerous milestones now, there is so much more left to achieve for Alex. Even a podium finish in the Asian Games isn’t a sure thing.

This is where a sport transforms from the game one plays into a responsibility one has to fulfill.

Yet, Eala is embracing all of it­—even on days when her improvements seem to be “very slow.”

“The higher you get up the mountain, the steeper it will get so the improvement won’t come as fast anymore. And of course, realizing that this is a job na for me,” Alex said in the same interview.

She may be experienced, but the Filipina tennis star recognizes there are things she has yet to perfect—and demands she needs to always meet.

“It’s not just an after-school activity. It’s really my career now and I’m super blessed to be able to say that, but with that comes a lot of responsibility, which I’m still navigating.”

Eala will start her Asiad journey on Monday. Count on her to give it all she got—for the flag.