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Alex Eala aims to smash pro circuit goals

At 15 years old, Alex Eala has shown that she's transitioning well from the juniors circuit to women's play.

In an interview with her uncle and former PBA commissioner Noli Eala in Power & Play, Eala revealed she will be focusing more on women's tournament campaigns this year.

"This year, I’m definitely going to prioritize my goals over the women’s tour over the juniors because that will help me more in the future," said the Rafael Nadal Academy scholar, who kicked off the year by joining 4 straight pro events.

Eala blitzed to her maiden pro title right on her home court in the first leg of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Rafael Nadal Academy World Tennis Tour last January 24.

She finished in the quarterfinals in the last two legs of the women's $15,000 tournament, and immediately traveled to Grenoble, France for a $25,000 tournament where she also nailed her first last 8 berth in that event level.

Though she sent shock waves across the women's circuit when she emerged as the first leg champion, Eala didn't feel any unnecessary pressure as she saw herself as the underdog. (FAST FACTS: Who is teen tennis sensation Alex Eala?)

"Being the underdog was an advantage," admitted Eala. "I didn’t feel any extra pressure. I don’t think any unnecessary pressure would help me perform better."

After setting more milestones in 2020 such as becoming the first Filipino in 35 years since Felix Barrientos to reach the last 4 of a junior Grand Slam in the Roland Garros, and clinching a year-end world No. 3 juniors ranking, Eala knew it was high time to level up her game.

"The more I play in the women’s, the more I get to notice it and the more I learn about the women’s tour, so now I’m just trying to transition slowly my game to the one that will support me in the future," added Eala, who cracked into the top 1000 in the Women's Tennis Association rankings at No. 942.

Despite having a productive off-season to prepare her for this year, Eala has taken away more from the game that will hone her skills to reach her goals.

But aside from looking to train more on serves and footwork, the Filipina tennis ace is still proud of her current achievements and remains hungry to improve.

"I think I’m going at a good speed. I’m really proud of myself for breaking the top 1000 and I have bigger goals, I have goals that I hope to reach by the end of this year," said Eala.

"It’s a huge milestone and I’m really happy because it wasn’t just me who worked super hard in the past 10 years of my life. But of course, I’m always wanting more and wanting to improve." – Rappler.com

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.

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