Alex Eala eyes French Open, Wimbledon stints
MANILA, Philippines — Alex Eala eyes to see action in the 2023 French Open qualifiers in May as she is looking to participate in more Grand Slam tournaments this year.
Coming off her first Grand Slam stint as a pro in the 2023 Australian Open last month, the 17-year-old Eala on Tuesday bared that she is seeking to qualify at Roland Garros set from May 28 to June 11.
“My next target right now is to try and qualify for the French Open. I have to budget my tournaments because as a 17-year-old, I only have 20 tournaments allotted,” said Eala during her homecoming press conference at Globe Tower.
“My last tournament was Thailand; that was my 15th tournament. So, until Roland Garros qualification, I have five more, until my birthday in May, when it resets.”
The US Open girls’ singles champion, who turns 18 on May 23, said she is also looking to compete at Wimbledon.
“Well, I think for a tennis player the goal is really to join the grand slams. So those are my goals for this year, go get into as many grand slams as I can,” she said.
Eala, who is currently the Women’s Tennis Association’s world No. 217, earned her career-best ranking of No. 214 and she is eager to keep rising in the rankings and compete in more pro circuit tournaments this year.
“Well, that depends on a lot of factors. I have to defend points and hopefully gain points if I can and it also depends on who joins the tournaments and who backs out,” Eala said. “So, give or take. I hope so. I really don’t know because it would be my first French Open professionally.”
The Rafael Nadal Academy scholar made her first appearance in French Open as a junior in 2021, reaching the semifinals in singles and ruling the doubles with Russian partner Oksana Olegovna Selekhmeteva.
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.