February 21, 2024

Alex Eala shares how love affair with tennis started, names person she watched growing up

Alex Eala shares how love affair with tennis started, names person she watched growing up
One Sports/Paolo del Rosario

Filipina tennis star Alex Eala is doing pretty well in the professional circuit. 

She's through to the singles quarterfinals of the ITF W40 Petange Kyotec Open in Luxembourg.

Her doubles campaign ended in the semifinals after she and Turkish partner Zeynep Sonmez fell to top seed Ali Collins of Great Britain and Isabelle Haverlag of the Netherlands.

Eala though has already plenty of titles under her belt: 2020 Australian Open and 2021 French Open girls doubles champion, 2022 US Open girls singles champion, as well as being a double-bronze medalist in the 2022 Asian Games.

Her love affair with tennis remains strong. But the 18-year-old Eala said she didn't immediately get into the sport.

"I don't think it was a love at first sight kind of thing. I think it was more of like gradually starting to fall in love with the sport," Eala said in a video feature by the ITF.

She shared how she used to watch her brother as he trained with their grandfather.

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"I think my parents wanted us to spend more time with him, and slowly I started to become more and more serious," she said. "Eventually, I only saw myself doing tennis. I couldn't see myself, you know, in any other profession."

So it only seemed fitting that a picture of her family was beside the US Open trophy on top of a shelf in her room.

"For me, it was a huge deal and my family was very proud," she said. "I also felt proud of myself for being able to get that win."

Eala is currently ranked 204 in the world and continues to train at the prestigious Rafa Nadal Academy in Spain. 

(PM)