THE GAME 2022 July Web L Tennis 1

Filipino aces: Tennis players making marks on global courts

Alex Eala may be the modern poster girl for Philippine tennis, but many athletes helped pave the way for our players’ recent achievements.

Filipino tennis players have been making headlines more recently. For instance, you may have heard about Alex Eala’s professional titles or read about our latest medal haul at the Southeast Asian Games.

We’re glad that more people have been giving our tennis players the hype that they deserve. But, we certainly need to credit the work that has been done to get to where our players are now. And by work, we mean the titles and medals from past years that plotted the path our players journey on today.

The Philippines' medals and titles for tennis from 2012 to 2022.

Looking at the titles and medals of our athletes from the last ten years might pleasantly surprise you. In the Southeast Asian Games, we’ve made it to the podium at least four times in each edition since 2015. 

Just last May, our athletes came home from the 2021 SEA Games with a solid run. They finished with one gold, one silver, and four bronzes.

Although our athletes may have been hoping for more gold-medal finishes, in total, we still walked away with the third-most medals for tennis. Not a bad stint at all.

The Philippines also competes in other top international tennis tournaments—and even better: they win. In total, we have two singles and 60 doubles titles divided among only five of our country’s most successful tennis players. 

The title-holders

At just 17 years of age, Alex Eala is responsible for already four of our titles on the board. On the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Tour, she has won two professional singles titles in Manacor and Chiang Rai.

And perhaps even more impressively, she holds two Grand Slam titles. With her Junior doubles titles in the 2020 Australian Open and the 2021 French Open, she became the first Filipino to ever win a Grand Slam title. 

The trajectory of Alex Eala’s career thus far matches the likes of Grand Slam champions. if you wanna find out how she has stacked up so far, we got you.

Although Alex Eala may now be the poster girl for Philippine tennis, her path was paved by the heavy hitters in the sport.

One of the major tennis names in our country is Treat Huey. He has 23 doubles titles to his name, making him one of the country’s most successful tennis players.

More than just his titles, though, he even has more impressive feats from recent years. In 2016, he reached a doubles career-high ranking at 18th. This high ranking fits the player who became the first Filipino tennis player to make it to the semifinals of the doubles event at Wimbledon.

But of course, we can’t go without mentioning even more of our country’s title-holders from the last ten years. These names have paved the way for Philippine tennis and have been doing so for years: Ruben Gonzales, Francis Alcantara and his 15, and Jeson Patrombon.

The Philippines’ tennis players have been putting our flag all across the world map with titles and medals to their names, especially more recently. But, there is still a lot of room to grow, and this year, still a lot to look forward to. 

What’s next?

One achievement our country is still eyeing is a medal in the Asian Games. The last time the Philippines won a medal for tennis in the Asian Games was in 1966. But, we may have the opportunity to change that in the Asian Games this 2022. 

Not to mention the two remaining Grand Slams for the year: Wimbledon and the US Open. Although our athletes may not have slots secured yet, there is good reason to be hopeful. After all, Treat Huey and Alex Eala have both gone far in Grand Slam arenas themselves.

Tennis may be a difficult sport to conquer for a nation. But even so, our athletes have been successful in making their mark on the court.