HANOI – For someone who has won two young Grand Slams and is now playing professionally, regional matches like the Southeast Asian Games should be just another tournament in her busy schedule. that. But Alex Eala is seeing her first SEA Games as “a big deal”.
Eala, who turns 17 later this month, will make her debut on Friday when the tennis team’s tournaments begin at Hanaka Tu Son Bac Ninh.
“I’m excited to play, of course, it’s a huge deal in the Philippines, I’ve wanted to play this for a long time,” Eala told the Inquirer. “I’ve been practicing with my teammates and yeah, I think I’ve been able to have a good rapport with everyone, just give off good vibes and have a positive mindset.”
With her around as well as key players like players from the United States Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales, Philippines is aiming for three gold medalsaccording to head coach Chris Cuarto.
“I think three golds is doable, this is a strong team that we have. But it all depends on the tie result,” said Cuarto.
Overall, the Philippines is shifting its focus to doubles players Eala and Huey in mixed doubles as well as defending champions Francis Casey Alcantara and Jeson Patrombon in mixed doubles.
Eala will also play women’s singles, hoping to end the country’s gold medal drought in the event. The last time the country won it was thanks to Maricris Fernandez in the 1993 edition.
Huey and Gonzales, the 2019 runners-up, will also capture the men’s pair, making the nation a formidable team in the competition for seven gold medals.
This country won only one gold medal in the 2019 SEA Games held in the country.
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