After US Open girls title, Alex Eala going back to pro circuit | Inquirer Sports

After US Open girls title, Alex Eala going back to pro circuit

/ 04:46 PM September 11, 2022
Alexandra Eala of Philippines looks on against Lucie Havlickova of Czech Republic during their Junior Girl's Singles Final match on Day Thirteen of the 2022 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 10, 2022 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.

Alex Eala of Philippines looks on against Lucie Havlickova of Czech Republic during their Junior Girl’s Singles Final match of the 2022 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 10, 2022 in New York City. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

MANILA, Philippines — After making history as the first Filipino to win a Grand Slam singles title, Alex Eala will return to professional circuit for the remainder of the year but said she is not yet retiring from the girls’ division yet.

When asked by a foreign journalist whether the US Open girls’ was her last stint, the 17-year-old Eala did not close the door on a playing again in the juniors ranks but she intends to focus on pro tournaments for the next couple of months.

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“I wouldn’t say that yet. I’m definitely not really sure as you can tell like tennis schedule should be very flexible. But for the next couple of months probably I will be focusing more on professional,” said the Filipino champion during her postmatch press conference.

“This is my first junior of the year so I’m happy with how I performed with that. But definitely going to focus on my professional career.”

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The tennis star, who hails from Quezon City, capped her magical run in the US Open girls’ singles with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over World No.3 Lucie Havlickova of Czech Republic in the final on Sunday (Manila time) at court 11 of USTA Billie Jean King Center in New York.

Eala is currently ranked 297 in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), the fourth youngest in the top 300. She reached her best ranking No. 280 last August 1.

She bagged two pro championships from the W15 Manacor in Spain last year and W25 Chiang Rai in Thailand last April, and three bronze medals from the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi last May.

On top of her first Singles Grand Slam, Eala has won a pair of majors titles in the past two years with different partners in the 2020 Australian Open doubles with Priska Nugroho, and 2021 French Open doubles with Oksana Selekhmeteva.

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