Industria: Another Side Of Alex Eala

Tennis prodigy Alex Eala made waves after her historic win at the US Open in September 2022. The young go-getter has always had this athletic streak in her system having come from a a sports-minded family—with mom Rizza Maniego-Eala, a 1985 Southeast Asian Games bronze medalist, and uncle Noli Eala, Philippine Sports Commission chairperson and former Philippine Basketball Association commissioner.

She started training at the age of four and joined her first tournament two years later. At the age of 12, she won the 2018 Les Petit As (or “Little Champions”) 14-and-under tournament. Now at 18, she’s celebrating another win, having graduated from the prestigious Rafa Nadal Academy (RNA) in Mallorca, Spain with flying colors after a five-year scholarship. This is where the young tennis star nurtured her skills to win multiple titles in the juniors and professionals levels.

For this edition of Industria, we see a more laidback side of Alex Eala who, like every other #GenG, loves pop music, enjoys the occasional Netflix binge and considers herself a professional multitasker.

Alex’s family has been with her through each step in her tennis career. She recalls that watching her kuya Miko play the sport ignited her curiosity. “He’s a few years older, and I would watch all the time as a baby. One day, I decided to join in,” says Alex in an interview. “Eventually, I grew fond of it, and I took it more seriously. And until now, I’m still very fond of it thanks to him.”

In that regard, nothing much has changed; Alex still keeps her family’s support close to her. She shares how they remind her not to doubt herself and stay confident, and the tennis star admits that their presence in her tournaments has helped her relax and keep her focus. But while they fully support her, it was Alex who decided she wanted to turn pro from an early age.

“I spent so much time on the court, I dedicated so much of my life to tennis, I wanted it to be bigger than just a college thing,” she explains. “And I didn’t want to work so, so, so hard for me just to stop [playing] tennis after college. So that’s what I’m trying to do, pursue a career as an athlete.”

Her hard work has and continues to pay off, having earned the right to proudly say that she’s the first Filipino to ever win a junior singles grand slam (not to mention being the first one to do so from Southeast Asia in the last two decades). But in the midst of all the notable wins, tiresome training sessions and months away from home, she’s also an 18-year-old who’s G for what life has to offer her.

Alex enjoys what everyone her age does: music, series, the occasional dessert. She enjoys staying in when she has the chance (and even admits she doesn’t always stay organized!), and going out with friends when she can. She’s someone that represents #GenG, a generation of go-getters who she describes as “strong and powerful.”

She says: “I’m super happy to part of this generation because we have the power to inspire others.”

We can’t wait to see what’s next. Mabuhay ka, Alex!


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