Practice for Filipino junior standout Alex Eala has been called off for the time being.
Australian officials have warned that smoke and haze from regional wild fires have affected the playing conditions of the 2020 AGL Loy Yang Traralgon Junior International Tennis Tournament in Victoria, Australia.
The tournament is set to start this Friday and Eala’s coach Daniel Gomez is looking for ways to keep the 14-year-old Alex in shape for the next two days.
Eala’s dad Mike said this as the Filipina netter prepares for action in the girls’ division, where she is seeded fourth.
“They suspended practice and matches due to poor air quality,” said the elder Eala in an online message.
Gomez is with the Rafa Nadal Academy, where Alex and her brother Miko are scholars.
Eala was accepted into the RNA after she won a tournament in France back in 2018.
From there, scouts from the Academy in Nadal’s hometown of Manacor in Mallorca, Spain approached Eala’s camp and discussed the possibility of her becoming a scholar.
The AGL Loy Yang Traralgon Junior International Tennis Tournament is meant to prepare Eala for her participation the 2020 Australian Open.
Elsa Jacquemont of France is seeded first, followed by Robin Montgomery of the United States in second.
Jacquemot is also among the players to watch.
She has claimed junior titles in France and Canada during the past 12 months.
And the 16-year-old Jacquemont also earned a wildcard for the qualifiers of the 2019 French Open.
Kamila Bartone of Latvia comes in at no. 3, with Maria Bondarenko of Russia in fifth.
Eala finished the 2018 season ranked 248th in the world, before a career-best 13th spot last October.
Her stint in a tournament in Bradenton, Florida last December allowed her move into the top, with her world ranking reaching no. 9 when the year 2020 started.
Eala earned 1,452.50 points from her campaign last year, making her the highest Southeast Asian tennis player in the ITF junior rankings.