MANILA, Philippines — Alex Eala's journey at the Miami Open may have just lasted a single match, but the learnings go far beyond.
In her first try at a WTA tournament, the 15-year-old tennister picked up a lot more than her gritty three-setter match against WTA World No. 104 Viktoria Kuzmova last Monday (early Tuesday, Manila time).
Eala spoke to the Philippine media a day after her loss to the Slovakian, talking about the impact of this experience — despite it being shorter than desired.
"It's obviously a great experience for me and I'm very grateful for this opportunity to be surrounded by the top players and to see how they work and their work ethic," said Eala.
"It's a really good learning experience for me and this atmosphere is one that I'm not used to, it's very new for me so I hope I get to know more about it and get used to it over the years," she continued.
Eala’s wild card entry into the prestigious tournament gave the young prospect a glimpse of what it takes to be in the sport's top players, an important step in her young career.
All while also having the chance to hit with some of the best players in the world like 2020 French Open titlist Iga Swiatek, who at 19 years old has already a career-high ranking of No. 15 in the WTA rankings.
Eala’s interactions with elite level players has only made the teen sensation even more motivated to develop her game and hopefully reach the same level of play as those she encountered in Miami sooner, rather than later.
"Being around these players and seeing how well they work makes me want to work harder as well," said Eala.
"Being exposed to this environment really shows me this is what I want to do and I've been working so hard to get here but there's still a really long way to go," she added.
After making her debut in the WTA tour, Eala will now head to Switzerland next for a $60,000 ITF tournament.
Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com