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Eala eyes playing in all 4 grand slams next year

MANILA, Philippines, December 20 ------ Philippine tennis sensation Alex Eala is setting the bar even higher for herself after an optimistic result to her 2023 season. During her offseason break in Manila, Eala shared her goals for 2024, which included some lofty expectations of herself in just her second year of full-time pro tennis. “I’m trying to look at short-term eh so ngayon, I’m preparing for Australian Open 2024. I’ll be joining the qualifying, that’s on January 8. So if any of you are in Australia,” she said. “That is my big focus right now. And hopefully next year, my goal is to join all four Grand Slams,” she continued. 


Eala bared her plans when she watched Game 2 of the finals of the 2023 PVL 2nd All-Filipino Conference at the Smart Araneta Coliseum over the weekend. Looking back at 2023, the 18-year-old admitted some early struggle. But she was able to pick it up in the second half of the season — highlighted by two ITF singles titles in June and August. “I think that the year had a lot of ups and downs lalo na nung first half. Doon ako medyo nahirapan. I think I had some tough moments during that time, but I’m happy of how I was able to turn it around in the second half,” said the Rafa Nadal Academy graduate. “I think I really blossomed and grew during that second half and I was able to bring out some of my best results and best tennis.” 


But for Eala, the best moment of the year came when she was wearing the Philippine flag across her chest during her maiden stint in the Asian Games in China. Just her second foray into the national team after the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam, Eala came home a double bronze medalist — finishing in the podium for the singles and mixed doubles tournaments. Eala helped snap a decade-long drought of medals for the Philippine tennis team at the Asiad. “I have to say Asian Games talaga ‘yung standout. Iba kasi siya sa ibang tournaments na usually kong sinasalihan na ‘yun nga, it’s a team (event),” she said. “Of course, I always represent the country in my international tournaments but it’s different to be able to wear it and to be able to be in an environment with all these athletes.” 


Eala has two more weeks of rest before she delves into preparation for the Australian Open qualifiers in the first week of January. 




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