Tennis ace Alex Eala picks Florida training over PH
MANILA, Philippines–Alex Eala is spending her preseason training in Florida—instead of back home—where she is competing in her last tournament for the year as she embarks for a busy 2022 campaign.
Last year, Eala prepared for the tennis season by training here in the country under national team coach Karl Santamaria.
She’s tweaking her schedule this time around as she unwinds from a season 20-tournament stretch that saw her being sidelined due to injury.
The 16-year-old Filipino girls hotshot crashed in the second round of singles competition in the JA Plantation-Orange Bowl tournament on Thursday but is through to the quarterfinals in doubles.
Not bad for Eala, who nursed an injured foot in the busy part of the 2021 season.
“She has fully recovered from that and she’s ready to compete here [in Florida],” said her father, Mike Eala.
Despite that long layoff, Eala managed to keep her Women’s Tennis Association rankings at 527th, down from her highest standing of 505th in women’s singles.
Her stint in Florida will serve as her “cooling down” period as she will be spending several weeks there to prepare for next year’s campaign, according to Mike.
Eala and partner Solana Sierra of Argentina will go up against Swiss Chelsea Fontenel and American Qavia Lopez 1 a.m. Saturday, Manila time.
The third seeds beat Russia’s Mirra Andreeva and USA’s Katja Wiersholm, 6-3, 6-2, in the second round.
Fontenel and Lopez got through the quarters with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Canada’s Mia Kupres and USA’s Sophie Llewellyn.
Eala, the World No. 3 in juniors, dropped a 6-3, 6-3 decision to Czech Republic’s Kristyna Tomajkova in the second round in singles.