Filipino junior tennis ace Alex Eala admitted she felt surprised by the support from Pinoy fans during the 2022 Girls US Open at the media conference for the 917 G-Day launch event on September 16, 2022.
Eala expressed gratitude to the Filipinos who showed support to her during the 2022 Girls US Open despite Pinoys being a Basketball and Volleyball dominated country.
“Definitely, super surprised by all the ones who watched. Sabi ko nga, the Philippines is a Basketball, and I would also say, Volleyball dominated country. Like people, tend to enjoy those more, but I’m — I think it’s a good thing that they’re starting to appreciate more sports. I think it’s [important] that we give attention to all of the athletes, and I’m super happy and [super] thankful for all those small things, watching pay-per-view or staying in the night. I’m super [thankful].”
She also recounted challenges she faced in 2022, including her recovery from her injury during the past year.
“There’s been a lot of hard times this year. It hasn’t always been going smoothly, especially at the start of the year because I have just come back from an injury. But I think I’ve come to learn that there’s always be hard times, and you need to wait out and continue to work hard and do what you love, and there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Eala also discussed her hopes of being a sports icon, citing Manny Pacquiao as her inspiration when she was younger.
“I –one to be someone who could look up to, not just young girls, anyone really. [You know], I grew up looking up to Manny Pacquiao, watching his matches, and [kind of] wanting to be something like that and inspire others with hard work and how they are as a person and not just an athlete.”
Eala is the first Filipino player to win a junior Grand Slam singles title at the 2022 US Open.
Eala began her stellar tennis career at 12 when she won the 2018 Les Petit As 14-and-under tournament, beating Linda Nosková. She then made her junior Grand Slam debut at the 2019 US Open and became the Milo Junior Athlete of the Year in 2019.
Aside from her singles win, Eala also won doubles titles in the 2020 Australian Girls Doubles with Priska Madelyn Nugroho and the 2021 French Open girls’ doubles with Oksana Selekhmeteva. She also won three Bronze medals at the 2021 SEA Games.
Since her early success, Eala has been one of the Ambassadors of the Philippine Telecommunications company, Globe.