"They’re also people, no matter how much they’ve done, they have to move on with their lives" – Juniors US Open champion Alex Eala on Serena Williams and Roger Federer's retirement
Alex Eala recently discussed the retirement of tennis legends Serena Williams and Roger Federer.
Eala is a Filipino tennis player with a career-high singles ranking of 214. She rose to prominence after winning the 2022 US Open juniors title without dropping a single set throughout the tournament.
With the victory, she became the first Filipino player to win a junior Grand Slam singles title. She is also the highest-ranked female Filipino singles player in WTA Tour history.
She stated that their decision to retire was fair because the two stars had dominated the game for nearly two decades. It was finally time for them to make "room" for the next generation while also serving as an "inspiration."
"These people have blazed a trail for so many other young tennis players and young athletes. And it seems like they’ve been around forever, and you feel like they can keep going and going," Eala said.
"But it’s just a reminder that they’re also people, you know. No matter how much they’ve done for the sport, they have to move on with their lives. I think it allows room for the next generation to naturally climb up the rankings. And be [an inspiration] to the following generations," she added.
"I didn’t really have any expectations coming into it" – Alex Eala on her 2022 US Open juniors title win
Alex Eala, who is presently training at Rafael Nadal's academy in Mallorca, went on to reflect on her 2022 US Open Juniors title win. She stated that she went into the competition with no expectations and competed to win each match.
"I tried not to think about [the title] a lot," Eala said, adding, "And I tried not to think that I needed to win. I didn’t really have any expectations coming into it. That was what was different from the other years, I played match by match instead of [thinking of] winning the whole thing."
She also remarked that her family's presence at the tournament "helped her relax."
"I think it really helped that my brother was there and my family was there. It helped me relax, and, you know, have fun, like, before the match and not really think about, you know, what’s actually happening," she said.