AT JUST 17 years old, Filipina tennis phenom Alex Eala is dreaming big.

Currently ranked 217th in the World Tennis Association (WTA) and playing as a pro, Eala wants to continue her ascent in the women’s world tennis scene and ultimately become the best in the world.

“I’m super happy with my development. I’m proud of what I’ve done because I know that I worked hard to get here even if it’s still early in my career. The main goal is to be more involved in the WTA circuit and the Grand Slam. The goal is to get up in the rankings and go as high up as I can go,” said Eala in a presser hosted by Globe Telecom and BPI. “I dream of winning the Grand Slam, joining the Olympics and winning a medal, and hopefully becoming the world’s No. 1.”

Eala became the highest ranked Filipina tennis player after peaking at No. 214 last year. She surpassed Maricris Gentz, whose highest rank was at No. 284 back in 1999.

Eala, who trains out of the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca, Spain, competed in the qualifying draw of the 2023 Australian Open, wherein she lost to Misaki Doi.

Eala also just recently got eliminated in the 2023 WTA Thailand Open after losing to No. 70-ranked Tatja Maria. She opened up the tournament with wins over Han Xinyun and Kristina Dmitruk.

“She’s (Maria) obviously a very experienced player. She’s mentally strong coming into the match. It was a learning experience. Her game isn’t common. Even if I lost, I’m super happy that I got to experience going up against a player with a different style,” she said.

Eala’s next move is to qualify for the 2023 French, one of the Grand Slam tournaments along with the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open.

“I’ll try to qualify for the French Open and the goal is to join as many Grand Slams this year,” said Eala.

Despite her busy schedule playing as a pro, Eala isn’t closing the doors on a stint with Philippine National Team in the Southeast Asian Games in May in Thailand and the Asian Games in September in India as long it isn’t a conflict to her schedule.

“I would love to represent the Philippines in the SEA Game but it might interfere with my qualifiers in the French Open. I’ll still discuss this with my team if this is included in my schedule,” said Eala.

“I would also love to join the Asian Games as long as it doesn’t conflict with my schedule. I’m super open to joining it if it fits my schedule.”