Alex Eala unsure about SEA Games
MANILA, Philippines — Alex Eala is uncertain if she will see action in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia as she is also eyeing to play in the French Open as a professional with both events coinciding in May.
The 17-year-old Filipino said she has yet to talk to the national team regarding the schedule conflict between the biennial meet from May 5 to 17 and the qualifying round of the French Open.
“I know that it’s around May 6, I think. But I would love to represent the Philippines again in the SEA Games. But from what I know, it might interfere with the [qualifiers] of the French Open, and the preparation prior,” said Eala during her homecoming press conference on Tuesday at Globe Tower.
“I haven’t yet sat down with my team and discussed whether that’s something that’s going to be included in the schedule.”
Eala won three bronze medals in her first SEA Games stint, placing third in the women’s singles, women’s team play, and mixed doubles last year in Hanoi Vietnam.
The reigning US Open girls’ champion revealed her plans for this year, which include stints in the French Open and Wimbledon.
The Rafael Nadal Academy scholar said she is also open to representing the country in the Asian Games in September but it still depends on her schedule.
“I would love to join the Asian Games, I’ve never competed in that yet. I’ve heard very good stories and very good experiences from other players,” Eala said. “But again, we have to check if it collides with any of the important tournaments that I plan to join this year. But definitely, I’m super open to joining and representing the team, if it just fits well into the schedule.”
Eala, who is currently the Women’s Tennis Association’s world No. 217, earned her career-best ranking of No.214.
The first Filipino to win a Grand Slam singles title reached the main draw of the Thailand Open but she lost to sixth seed Tatjana Maria of Germany, 2-6, 2-6, in the WTA) 250 event in Hua Hin last week.
Eala also made her first Grand Slam appearance as a pro in the 2023 Australian Open qualifying round, suffering an early exit at the hands of Japan’s Misaki Doi last month.