Filipino junior tennis players Alberto Lim Jr. and John Bryan Otico scored contrasting victories yesterday to reach the third round of the Osaka Mayor's Cup in Japan.
Lim, seeded No. 9 in the Grade A-level tournament, prevailed over Japanese Tatsuki Shimamoto, 6-3, 6-4, to advance against No. 7 Japanese Yuta Shimizu, who rallied past Taiwanese Chun Hsin Tseng, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
Otico, on the other hand, survived No. 12 Japanese Naoki Tajima, 6-4, 7-6(4), to arrange a third-round showdown with No. 6 Italian Liam Caruana, who won over Slovak David Juras, 6-0, 6-2.
My opponent started amazing but I won because I am a more experienced player than him, said the 17-year-old Lim, the highest ranked Filipino in the ITF Juniors at No. 47.
I'm working on some stuff that I'm going to do for my next match so I think that my match today was a good test for me tomorrow (Friday), said Lim, who beat Shimizu, 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-3, in the semifinal round of the ITF Pune Open Juniors Championship in India last May.
It will be a different match tomorrow since all players have improved. I am expecting a battle, added Lim, who played in the Junior Grand Slams in Australia, France and the US this year.
Lim also made it to the doubles quarterfinal with Caruana, posting a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Japanese tandem Shinji Hazawa and James Kent Trotter.
Lim and Caruana will be up against Japanese pair Yuta Kikuchi and Riki Oshima, 6-2, 6-1 winners over compatriots Takeaki Ito and Kazuki Shimizu.
Me and my partner are really having fun and playing with a great teamwork. We played against the Japanese players and the crowd was against us. But we didn't let the crowd affect us and we just continued playing aggressively on every point, said Lim, a college freshman at the University of the East in Manila.
Also booking third-round berths in the singles division were No. 1 Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia; No.2 Yosuke Watanuki of Japan; No.3 Nicola Kuhn of Spain; No. 4 Alexei Popyrin of Australia, No. 8 Chien Hsun Lo and No. 10 Yu Hsiou Hsu of Chinese Taipei; No. 11 Lingxi Zhao of China; No. 14 Constantin Bittoun Kouzmine of France; No. 15 Mikhail Sokolovskiy of Russia; Benard Bruno Nkomba of Australia, and qualifier Takeaki Ito of Japan.
The other quarterfinalists in the doubles category are top seeds Toru Horie and Yuta Shimizu of Japan; No. 2 Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia and Ergi Kirkin of Turkey; No. 6 Olukayode Alafia Damina Ayeni of the United States and Nicola Kuhn of Spain; No. 7 Zsombor Piros of Hungary and Mikhail Sokolovskiy of Russia; Karlo Divkovic of Croatia and David Juras of Slovakia; and Constantin Bittoun Kouzmine of France and Rimpei Kawakami of Japan.*PNA
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