Filipina tennis star and Globe ambassador Alex Eala is finally back home for a brief vacation, carving out time to visit the Globe Tower where she met with the media and reconnected with Globe employees.
The 17-year-old tennis ace is coming off her first stint as a pro at the 2023 Australian Open last month. As crucial as diligent training and competing in high-level tournaments are, Eala says finding time for some rest is just as important.
“It’s very important. I think that rest is also a big part of the journey. Rest is also a part of improvement. To just have this time to be with family and share all my success with them and just to catch up. I haven’t seen them for so long,” shared Eala.
“I’m super happy to have this opportunity and also to connect with BPI, connect back with Globe, just have this opportunity to be with the press and organize my affairs,” she added.
Ranked No. 217 on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour, the lefty netter is eager to rise the ladder and break into the top 200 soon. To do this, Eala is getting ready to compete in more Grand Slam tournaments, including the French Open in May and Wimbledon in July.
“My main goal is just to be more involved in the WTA circuit. There’ll be WTA tournaments and, of course, the Grand Slams. Now my goal is also to get the ranking that will allow me to do that. And if I can get even higher, I haven’t set like a specific number for the end of the year, but as high as it can go,” shared Eala.
For now, though, Eala is enjoying her time at home. Whether it’s having her fill of Filipino food she doesn’t get to indulge in whenever she’s on the WTA tour, spending precious time with her cousins, or simply just decompressing and getting in some schoolwork, Eala is making the most of her stay.
“Every time I come back, I always get pork barbecue,” Eala eagerly shared. “And then I spend a lot of time with my cousins because a lot of the times that I’m back, it’s for holidays or whatever and for summers. So they also come back from school from university so I spend a lot of time with my cousins.”
“And this is one of the first times I’ve been home and not training. So it’s also a new experience for me. Usually, I’m training a lot, so I’m just enjoying my time, taking advantage of the time that I have to do my homework.”
Aside from managing her tennis career, Eala is also juggling her studies as she nears finishing her senior year in high school. Being a professional tennis player and a student can be jarring, but Eala takes it all in stride.
“I am in my senior year of high school, and I enrolled in an online school for my last year because I found that it became more difficult for me to manage my time when I had to be in class, for exams, in-person classes. So I found that this year, now that I’m in an online school, I can manage my time and manage my work,” said Eala.
Eala, who will be turning 18 in May, is certainly enjoying her downtime in the Philippines, gamely indulging employees and fans at The Globe Tower for photo ops and autographs. It’s a chance to make good on her promise of giving back to the country, and she is doing her best to be a role model that Filipinos can look up to.
Once Eala concludes her vacation, she knows it’s right back to business as she gears up for another packed year ahead. But for now, she is just happy to be home.
“I think for a tennis player, the goal is really to join the Grand Slam. So those are going to be my goals for this year: to get into as many Grand Slams as I can,” Eala said.