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MANILA, Philippines – The march to global tennis prominence for Filipina teen tennis star Alex Eala received a major boost as she achieved new career-high world rankings in both singles and doubles.
In the latest Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings which came out on Monday, January 29, after the Australian Open, the 18-year-old saw her singles ranking go up three notches from 187 to 184th due to her quarterfinal finish in last week’s Necc-Deccan $40,000 ITF Pune in India.
The rise in Eala’s doubles ranking was even more dramatic after she won her first career doubles pro title in the ITF Pune.
Ranked fourth in the competition, Eala and Darja Semenistaja of Latvia stunned the veteran top seeded tandem of Naiktha Bains of Great Britain and Fanny Stollar of Hungary in straight sets, 7-6(8), 6-3, during the finals last Saturday, January 27.
This title conquest pushed Eala’s doubles world ranking to 302, 63 places higher from her previous standing.
The next two weeks will be a busy time for Eala who will get more chances to further climb the world rankings.
Eala will remain in India this week for the Indore ITF World Tennis Tour W50 which is scheduled from January 29 to February 4 at the Indore Tennis Club.
The teenage sensation is seeded third in the $40,000 ITF event and will play her opening round match on Wednesday against 23-year-old, world No. 490 Zhibek Kulambayeva of Kazakhstan.
Eala found herself in a relatively light draw, and should she progress will not be facing any ranked opponent until the quarterfinals.
If Eala wins her first-round match, she will next face either 17-year-old wildcard entry Diva Bhatia of India who has no ITF ranking or 30-year-old qualifier Ekaterina Yashina of Russia in the second round.
From India, Eala will be flying to the United Arab Emirates to play in the WTA Mubudala Abu Dhabi Open from February 3 to 11.
Eala was one of three players granted wildcard slots to the main draw of the the WTA 500 level event. The two others are former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka and 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu.
The tournament features a strong field topped by world No. 5 and 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, world No. 6 and Wimbledon and US Open finalist Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, and world No. 9 Maria Sakkari of Greece.
World No. 11 and 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic, and world No. 12 and 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia are also in the mix. – Rappler.com