April 14, 2024

If it were up to her, Alex Eala will don PH colors for SEA Games, Asian Games

If it were up to her, Alex Eala will don PH colors for SEA Games, Asian Games

A busy schedule lies ahead for 17-year-old tennis sensation Alex Eala—that she is still unsure if she can represent the Philippines in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games and Asian Games.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Eala bared that she has yet to discuss with her team if she can play in the SEA Games in Cambodia come May.

“I would love to represent the Philippines again in the SEA Games, but from what I know, it might interfere with the [qualifying tournaments] of French Open and the preparation prior, so I haven’t sat down yet with my team and discussed whether that’s something that’s going to be included in the schedule,” said Eala.

Aside from the SEA Games, Eala is also hoping her schedule will have room for the Asian Games set in September.

“I would love to join the Asian Games, I've never competed in that yet. I've heard very good stories and very good experiences from other players,” said Eala. “I will have to check again if it collides with any of the important tournaments that I plan to join this year, but I’m super open to joining and representing the team if it fits well to the schedule.”

Eala is coming off an early exit from the WTA Thailand Open, which saw her fall to Germany’s Tatjana Maria in their Round of 32 clash last January 31.

And now, the 2022 US Open juniors champion has her eyes set on qualifying for the French Open. If she makes it, it would be her first time to compete in the Roland Garros as a professional.

It’s no surprise Eala's team is taking a cautious approach to their game plan. With a limited number of competitions to join, they want to make sure they join the right ones until her birthday on May 23.

“I have to budget my tournaments because as a 17-year-old, I only have 20 tournaments allotted,” said Eala. “So, until Roland Garros qualifications, I have 5 more until my birthday for May, when it resets.”

Currently, Eala is ranked No. 217 by the WTA, but she hopes that this number could increase further by the end of the year.

“My main goal is to really just be more involved in the WTA circuit, to join more WTA tournaments, and of course the grand slams,” Eala said. “My goal is also to get the ranking that will allow me to do that. If I can get even higher, then even higher. I haven’t set a specific number for the end of the year, but I’ll take as high as it can go.”