Alex Eala unsure about SEA Games

Alex Eala

FILE – Alexandra Eala of the Philippines serves against Lucie Havlickova of the Czech Republic during their Junior Women’s Singles Final on Day 13 of the 2022 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on May 10 September 2022 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

MANILA, Philippines – Alex Eala is unsure if she will attend the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia as she is also eyeing competing in the French Open as a single professional tennis with both events taking place in May.

The 17-year-old Filipino said she has yet to speak with the national team about the scheduling conflict between the biennial meeting May 5-17 and qualifying for the French Open.

“I know that it was around May 6, I think. But I would love to represent the Philippines again in the SEA Games. But from what I know, it can interfere [qualifiers] of the French Open and previous preparations,” Eala said at her hometown press conference Tuesday at Globe Tower.

“I have yet to sit down with my team and discuss if that is something that will be on the schedule.”

Eala won three bronze medals in her first SEA Games, finishing third in women’s singles, women’s team and mixed doubles last year in Hanoi Vietnam.

The defending US Open champion has revealed her plans for this year, including attending the French Open and Wimbledon.

Academy scholar Rafael Nadal said she is also open to representing the country at the Asian Games in September but that still depends on her schedule.

“I would love to participate in the Asian Games, I have never competed there. I have heard very good stories and very good experiences from other players,” Eala said. “But again, we have to check if it collides with any major tournaments I plan to participate in this year. But for sure, I’d be happy to join and represent the team, if it fits the schedule.”

Eala, currently the Women’s Tennis Association’s world number 217, earned her career best ranking of 214.

The first Filipino to win a Grand Slam singles title reached the main draw of the Thai Open but she lost to sixth seed Tatjana Maria of Germany, 2-6, 2-6, in the WTA event) 250 in Hua Hin last week.

Eala also entered the Grand Slam as a professional for the first time in the 2023 Australian Open qualifiers, being eliminated early at the hands of Japan’s Misaki Doi last month.


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