US Open girls champion Alex Eala catapulted to her highest ranking in the latest Women’s Tennis Association list at No. 252 after taking part in a pair of professional tournaments recently in California.
The 17-year-old scholar of the Rafael Nadal Academy improved her standing by 29 ranks after joining the W60 Templeton and W80 Rancho Santa Fe tournaments.
Filipino-Canadian netter Leylah Fernandez dropped in the WTA rankings at 39th while Iga Swiatek of Poland is still the No. 1 women’s tennis player in the world.
Eala reached the second round of W60 Templeton where she was defeated by 6-2, 4-6, 0-6 loss against Katarzyna Kawa of Poland last 30 September.
At the W8 Rancho Santa Fe, the three-time Southeast Asian Games bronze medalist found herself booted out by Marcela Zacarias of Mexico prevailed, 2-6, 5-7, last week after going through the qualifying round.
Save for the 2022 US Open this year, Eala has focused her attention in playing in the professional circuit.
This year saw Eala win her second women’s singles title at the W25 Chiang Rai in Thailand last April and made a podium finish in her first SEA Games.
While she promised one more run in the girls division by next year, Eala is already building her credibility to join the women’s competition of the Grand Slams.
“Right now, I’m just focusing on improving my ranking and, you know, hopefully I’m trying to get into the qualies (qualifying rounds) of the women’s Grand Slams. I have to work a lot to make that happen but obviously, that’s what I’m here to do,” said Eala, a three-time Grand Slam champion.
“I like to take it step by step.”