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Eala makes pro debut

Ian Suyu

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ALEX Eala starts her bid in the professional ranks.   Photograph by RAFAEL NADAL TENNIS ACADEMY for the daily tribune

Alex Eala gets her baptism of fire when she makes her professional debut against Nadia Echeveria Alam of Venezuela in the first round of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Monastir Women’s tennis tournament Wednesday in Monastir, Tunisia.

The 14-year-old Eala, a scholar in the Rafael Nadal Tennis Academy who currently ranks fourth in the world junior ranking, is tipped to be tested by the 25-year-old Venezuelan, who is ranked 479th in the world with six ITF juniors doubles titles under her belt.

Alam has been competing professionally since 2016.

Still, despite the wide disparity in age and experience, the Filipino netter is tipped to go all out, carrying the momentum she gained from her historic campaign in the Australian Open, where she won the girls’ doubles titles with partner Priska Nugroho of Indonesia.

Eala’s first professional match would also put into test whether she can make it to the next level while still campaigning in topnotch juniors circuit.

“We are all excited as Alex begins her journey in the women’s professional circuit,” Eala’s father, Mike, said, adding that age would hardly be a factor in her bid to make it big in the world tennis arena.

“Although she’s only 14 years old, her team thinks that she’s ready to start playing in these entry-level pro circuits while still campaigning in top-level juniors tournaments.”

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