By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Filipina tennis sensation Alex Eala will finally suit up for the Philippine national team in the upcoming 2021 Southeast Asian Games to be held in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The highly-anticipated SEA Games debut will be a huge boost for the PH women’s lawn tennis team as the squad is still looking for its first gold medal in 22 years.
The world no. 2 ranked juniors’ tennis player of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) was set to join the PH team two years ago but conflicts in her international schedule delayed her debut.
“Alex is fully committed and excited for next year as the plan is for her to play anywhere from 22 to 27 tournaments, which will include the SEA Games in May,” said her father Mike Eala in an interview with the Inquirer.
However, Eala’s inclusion in the PH Women’s team in Hanoi would cost her a 2021 Australian Open stint where she won the championship in the girls’ doubles last 2020 together with her partner Priska Nugroho of Indonesia.
“We will continue to see Alex playing more professional tournaments as she continues her transition into a professional player,” her father Mike added.
With Eala already SEA Games bound, the Philippines are hoping for lawn tennis glory in the women’s division that was last achieved by Maricris Fernandez in 1999.