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Alex Eala graduates from Rafa Nadal Academy

MANILA, Philippines — Alex Eala graduated from the Rafa Nadal Academy (RNA) on Thursday in Mallorca, Spain.

The 18-year-old Filipino tennis star shared some moments of her graduation at RNA, where she was a full scholar for five years, on her Instagram account.

Tennis legend and owner Rafael Nadal gave an inspiring graduation speech, congratulating his students.

“I think you have achieved one of the first goals, which is to graduate. I personally am very proud of you. I am sure that all the people who have been by your side this time, too.” said Nadal. “Congratulations. I hope you leave here with the future tools you need to face the future, whatever it may be.”

Nadal admitted he is not the kind of person who gives a lot of advice because he is “in favor of learning things through daily examples.” But he left an important piece of advice to his graduates.

“Give yourself opportunities,” he said. “This is the reality, don’t get frustrated when things don’t work out the first time, don’t get frustrated when you have been trying for a while and things don’t work out. Keep giving yourself chances.”

Nadal also congratulated Novak Djokovic, who won his 23rd Grand Slam title in the Roland Garros French Open, and their special guest and women’s champion Iga Swiatek, who also gave a speech.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion said Swiatek is a “good role model” to the academy.

The RNA honed Alex Eala to become the first Filipino to win a Grand Slam singles title in the US Open girls’ tournament last year.

Alex Eala also came from three International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournaments for the past three weeks, winning her third pro title in the W25 Yecla in Spain last week.

The Filipino prodigy, who has a career ranking of No. 214 in the Women’s Tennis Association, rose to No. 228 on Monday from No. 266 last May.


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