Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story inadvertently stated that Alex Eala’s world ranking of No. 340 is the highest by a Filipina in tennis history. Maricris Gentz holds the distinction following her No. 284 ranking in 1999. This has been corrected.
MANILA, Philippines – Alex Eala may not have gotten her first-ever career W60 title after she fell short in the women’s singles finals of the Open ITF Arcardis Brezon Osuna in Madrid, Spain, on Sunday, June 19, but her runner-up finish proved more than enough to catapult her further up the world rankings.
The 17-year-old will leave the Madrid event ranked 340th in the latest Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings that came out on Monday, June 20 – a major climb from her previous ranking of 413th.
Eala sat at 572nd in the world last March before a two-week campaign in Thailand that saw her bag her second pro title in a W25 event in Chiang Rai pushed her ranking to 411th – a jump of 161 spots. She continued to climb the world rankings and posted a previous career-high of 394th in May.
The Filipina teen is now the highest ranked Southeast Asian in the world. The former top Southeast Asian, Aldila Sutjadi of Indonesia, has fallen to 401st in the world. Next to Eala, the second-highest ranked Southeast Asian is Peangtarn Plipuech of Thailand, who is 365th.
Eala is 28th among all Asians in the world rankings. She is also the youngest and the only Southeast Asian among the top 32 Asian female players in the world.
She will get another opportunity to improve her world rankings when she sees action in the W25 Open Generali Ciudad de Palma de Rio in Spain on June 27. – Rappler.com