Eala tabs lofty billing as girls’ No. 2 seed
The first thing Alex Eala did right after landing in Paris was to phone her parents, who were at home in Manila.
“She calls very often but not every day,” dad Michael Eala said. “It’s usually catching up on her day as well as ours. Like a normal dinner conversation a family have.”
Not many dinner conversations, however, will center on being the No. 2 seed in the girls singles of the 2020 French Open.
“I’m really excited to play. This is my first time in Roland Garros main draw,” Alex said. “I think I’m ready because I have been training a lot the past few months. Hopefully everything goes well.”
The 15-year-old Alex gained the lofty billing after rising to No. 4 in the world in juniors—the youngest player in the current top 50. And she will find the clay courts of Roland Garros quite familiar as she seeks another Grand Slam title.
Alex is a scholar at the Mallorca-based tennis academy of Spanish star Rafael Nadal, tennis’ undisputed king of clay.
Her parents won’t be able to join Alex as she chases the singles crown, though, as health restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic took a toll on the family’s travel plans.
Michael said they will catch her games via livestream. But they will nevertheless have contact with their daughter.
“Usually when we communicate it’s by video call, that way it’s more personal,” said Michael, who, along with wife Rizza, usually roots for Alex from the sidelines.
The draw hasn’t been made available for the juniors division as of press time. But if all goes according to form, Alex is headed for a clash with junior girls World No. 1 Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva of Andorra.
Alex won her first Grand Slam title after teaming up with Priska Nugroho of Indonesia in the Australian Open girls doubles early this year.
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