Filipina teen tennis sensation Alex Eala earned the praise of former world No. 19 Tamarine “Tammy” Tanasugarn of Thailand for her numerous milestones in her young tennis career.
“A wow performance from her!” exclaimed Tanasugarn in an interview with Rappler ahead of the 2021 French Open.
“With her age and [she’s] really young, it’s good to see young ones do well at an early age.”
Eala, who turned 16 years old last Sunday, May 23, already has an Australian Open girls doubles title and a professional title under her belt. She recently landed a women’s doubles runner-up finish with Russian star Oksana Selekhmeteva.
Tanasugarn, who has close relations with Filipino tennis players like Francis Alcantara, believes that the sport can grow through Eala’s success in the international stage.
“Also her nation, for the Philippines, I think it will really start up tennis communities in the Philippines like: ‘Hey, we have good [and talented] players in our nation!’ I think that’s going to be [a boost] for tennis in the Philippines,” added the retired professional.
The Filipina ace will kick off her 2021 French Open juniors campaign on Sunday, June 6, as she aims to surpass her breakthrough semifinal finish in the girls singles event.
In the 2020 edition, Eala became the first Filipino to crack into the last four of a Slam singles event since Felix Barrientos in the 1985 Wimbledon juniors tournament.
Tanasugarn, who still holds the distinction of being the highest-ranked Thai tennis player, encourages young players from Southeast Asia like Eala to continue enjoying the challenge of tennis, and to keep dreaming high.
“The challenge of tennis game, it’s just so much fun. And I think it’s the fun and the love for what you are doing, and what kind of goals, you want to achieve,” said the Thai star.
“Just believe in your dream and believe in yourself.” – Rappler.com
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