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Alex Eala to discuss SEAG, Asiad availability with team as tennis star chases grand slam qualification

Alex Eala is currently focusing on making the French Open, which could affect her bid to join the SEA Games. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

TAGUIG—Filipino tennis sensation Alex Eala is now setting her sights on making at least one grand slam event this year in the seniors ranks after starting the year with a shot at the Australian Open.

However, her grand slam dreams could affect her bid to join the Philippine team for both the Southeast Asian Games and the Asian Games.

According to her, she will talk with her team first regarding her availability before ultimately deciding if she will play for the national team.

"I will have to check if they collide with any of the important tournaments that I'm planning to join this year," Eala said during a press conference organized by Globe and Bank of the Philippine Islands at The Globe Tower on Tuesday.

A potential roadblock for Eala is the schedule of the SEA Games, which will run from May 5-17 in Phnom Penh.

However, Eala might be gearing up by that time for the qualification to the French Open, whose main tournament will run from May 28-June 11.

"I would love to represent the Philippines in the SEA Games, but it might interfere with the qualification for the French Open," she further said.

Eala, however, also said that she would love to make an Asian Games debut in this year's edition from Sept. 23-Oct. 8 in Hangzhou, China if the schedule permits.

"I would love to try the Asian Games. I've never competed in that yet. I've heard very good stories and experiences from other players," Eala said.

The US Open will have its final day on Sept. 11 (Philippine Time), so barring an accepted invitation to join another pro circuit tournament, she could actually make the Asian Games.

For now, according to Eala, the immediate goal is to make the French Open, which has been a perennial playground of his mentor, Rafa Nadal.

"My next target right now is to qualify for the French Open," Eala said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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