Alex Eala made a massive improvement in her world junior ranking following a victorious performance in the 2022 US Open junior singles event over the weekend at Flushing Meadows in New York.
In the latest International Tennis Federation girls ranking, the 17-year-old Filipina netter improved from No. 167 to No. 35 with a total of 1106.7 points after winning her first Grand Slam title.
The mark is Eala’s highest ranking in the juniors since staying at the second spot in 2020. But she slid to No. 167 after concentrating on the women’s circuit.
French Open champion Lucia Havlickova of Czech Republic, whom Eala defeated in the finale of the US Open, remains at No. 1 with 3595.5 points while Sofia Costoualas of Belgium is at second with 3085.5 points.
After playing in the JA Plantation in Florida last year, Eala opted to focus on the professional circuit where she played women’s matches and even won her second pro title at the W25 Chiang Rai in Thailand last April.
She also made her Southeast Asian Games debut in Hanoi last May where she grabbed the bronze in women’s singles, mixed doubles and team events.
The focus on the professional matches forced Eala to skip three Grand Slam events — the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon — before deciding to play in the US Open.
Still, Eala couldn’t believe she won the title, saying that she didn’t get enough sleep the following night.
“It’s super surreal and I’m super happy that I get to spend it with my family,” said Eala, who didn’t drop a single set en route to her US Open conquest, in an interview.
“I got to sleep for only a little bit. Not so early but the adrenaline and the excitement were still with me until the night but I had a good time celebrating with my friends and family.”
In a previous Daily Tribune report, Eala’s Filipino coach Karl Santamaria said she is set to compete in two more professional tournaments in California in the coming weeks to get into the Top 200 Women’s Tennis Association rankings.
Eala is currently ranked 297th, after reaching a career-high 280th in August.
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