Nadal scholar Alex Eala suits up for ‘bigger’ quest: PH pride
Teen tennis star Alex Eala has competed in multiple international events, clinching titles along the way. But what she seeks to accomplish now in her young career is representing the country in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
And she finally gets a shot as she joins the Philippine team at the 31st SEA Games hosted by Vietnam.
“I’m looking forward to [playing for the Philippines] so much; it’s everyone’s dream to represent their country,” Eala said in a recent blog post on the International Tennis Federation website. “This is a big occasion and I cannot wait to wear my national team colors with pride.”
This time, the two-time junior Grand Slam doubles champion knows that her responsibility is more than just carrying herself in international competition.
“It is also another opportunity for me to represent the Philippines, something I love, and I definitely have the sense of playing for my nation and for something far bigger than just myself,” Eala, a Rafael Nadal Academy scholar, said.
The 16-year old stalwart is expected to compete in the women’s singles and doubles, and team event with national team icon Treat Huey for the mixed doubles competition.
Eala provides a boost to the national tennis team which is gunning for seven gold medals at stake in Hanoi.
Eala’s debut in the biennial meet could be a golden ticket to end a 22-year long gold medal drought for the country in women’s competitions.
The country’s last gold medal in women’s singles was delivered by Maricris Fernandez in the 1999 edition of the Games in Brunei.
If Eala could maintain her winning momentum, she can end this drought not only in this year’s Games, but also in the years to come.
Inquirer’s special coverage of the Hanoi SEA Games 2021.
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