Tennis

‘Wow performance’ from Alex Eala, says former Thai tennis star

Beatrice Go
‘Wow performance’ from Alex Eala, says former Thai tennis star

GIRLS SEMIS. Alex Eala looks to surpass her semifinal finish in the 2020 French Open juniors tournament.

Alex Eala's Instagram

Thai former world No. 19 Tammy Tanasugarn keeps an eye on Alex Eala as a rising talent

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

Catch the live coverage of the Roland Garros as it premieres from May 30 to June 13 across FOX Sports channels.

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine 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.