MANILA, Philippines -- Young Filipina tennis star Alex Eala welcomes the possibility of representing the Philippines in the Southeast Asian Games and Asian Games next year.
Speaking to her uncle, former PBA commissioner Noli Eala, on "Power and Play," Eala said she is "looking forward" to playing for the country.
"I think it's everyone's dream to represent their country. I think this is a bigger thing than just an individual sport, and representing your country means you're doing it for the Philippines. It makes it so much more special," said the 16-year-old.
Eala did not play in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games but raised her profile with a strong season in 2020, where she won the doubles in the Australian Open juniors together with Indonesian partner Priska Madelyn Nugroho. Eala also won the French Open junior doubles crown with Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia earlier this year.
In January 2021, she ruled the ITF Manacor for her first singles crown.
Eala last competed in the US Open juniors in September, where she lost in the quarterfinal, and has since been recovering from an injury. But she is bracing for what should be a busy 2022, although her schedule has yet to be finalized.
"I have not started on planning that yet. I'm sure my coaches and my parents have looked into it, but it's still quite early to tell. But I'm sure after a good pre-season, I'll be ready to go," said Eala of her plans for the next year.
"I wouldn't guarantee that it's all four (majors), but I think playing the majors is still something that I am looking forward to next year," she also said.
The 2021 SEA Games is set for May 12 to 23 in Hanoi, Vietnam next year, while the Asian Games is from September 101-25 in Hangzhou, China.
Eala currently ranks No. 4 in the juniors circuit, and 530th in the WTA as of November 8.