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Eala wants more junior glory

Alex Eala eyes more junior titles following her victorious performance in the US Open.

In a television interview, the 17-year-old Eala said she wants to maximize her last year in the junior ranks before completely shifting her focus to the professional circuit.

The US Open, however, will be her last juniors tournament for the year.

Eala, a scholar at the Rafael Nadal Academy, is coming off a successful stint in the US Open where she beat world No. 1 Lucia Havlickova of Czech Republic in the final, 6-2, 6-4.

With that, she jacked up her International Tennis Federation ranking to No. 35, making her one of the hottest young tennis players in the world.

“It’s not true that I will stop competing in the juniors entirely. As of now, I don’t know when my next junior tournament will be, but I will be focusing on the professional tournaments this year,” said Eala, the first Filipino Grand Slam junior singles champion.

“But that’s not to say I won’t be joining any more junior tournaments. I have one more year so I have to plan it out.”

The US Open wasn’t Eala’s first Grand Slam crown.

She won her first Grand Slam when she teamed up with Priska Nugroho of Indonesia at the 2020 Australian Open before joining forces with Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia for the 2021 French Open tiara.

Eala said she will focus on improving her rank in the Women’s Tennis Association for the remainder of the year.

She is set to play two professional tournaments in California in the coming weeks with the hope of crashing the WTA Top 200 from her current ranking of No. 288.

She, however, has yet to confirm her participation in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia and the 19th Asian Games in China next year.

“I’m here in California for the next month and then I’ll go back to Europe to try and get those points and everything that I can to get my ranking higher,” Eala said.

“I can’t confirm anything right now for next year, including the SEA Games and Asian Games. I don’t think there has been any talk about that. All they can watch out are my professional tournaments because my schedule has to be flexible.”

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