MANILA, Philippines – Al ex Eala is off to a good start.
The Filipina tennis sensation entered the New Year with a new career-best ranking ahead of her first big competition next week.
From No. 190 to end 2023, Eala soared to No. 185 for the opening rankings of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) days before her much-awaited return in the Australian Open.
The mark surpassed her previous career-high placing at No. 189 last October after two straight pro titles in Europe.
“Starting the year with a new career-high,” said Eala, a graduate of the Rafael Nadal Academy.
Out to pounce on the morale-boosting jump in the women’s pro circuit, Eala is in the thick of her preparations with a scheduled participation in Canberra International before the Australian Open in Melbourne starting on Monday.
The 18-year-old ace earned a ticket in the qualifying draw last week with hopes of barging into the main competition after an early exit last year.
Eala, then a debutant in the Australian Open women’s singles after previously winning a juniors doubles title in 2020 with Indonesian pal Priska Made lyn Nugroho, bowed to Japan’s Misaki Doi in the opening round of the qualifiers.
At stake for Eala is a chance to slug it out against the likes of world No. 1 Iga Swiatek, world No. 2 and reigning champion Aryna Sabalenka, Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber, who headline the main draw slated on Jan. 14 to 28.
Emma Raducanu, the 2021 US Open champion, meanwhile is also in the qualifying draw.
MANILA, Philippines – Ara Galang has signed with the Chery Tiggo Crossovers, the team announced Tuesday.
Galang, previously of the F2 Logistics, will join a Chery Tiggo team that boasts a deep roster headlined by former league MVP Mylene Paat, EJ and Eya Laure and Princess Robles.
The F2 Cargo Movers recently disbanded.
The 5-foot-7 Galang thanked Chery for the opportunity.
“I am excited because this is the first time I will play with very different players. I went to a team that I do not know the players that much,” she said in Filipino.
She played seven years for the Cargo Movers.
“The only ones I know are Buding [Duremdes] and Mylene Paat. I am excited to work and play with the younger players,” the 28-year-old added.
Chery Tiggo ended the PVL Second All-Filipino Conference with an 8-3 win-loss slate, good for fourth place.
And with the addition of Galang, the Crossovers are poised to make some noise.
“I will always play all out, so I will give my best every training, every game, every day,” she said.
“I will do everything I can to contribute and help the team.”