Filipino top junior netter Albert Lim Jr. and Italian partner Liam Caruana defeated Japanese pair Yuta Kikuchi and Riki Oshima, 7-6 (0), 6-2, yesterday to reach the doubles semifinal in the Osaka Mayor's Cup-World Junior Tennis Championship in Japan.
The victory sent the third-seeded Lim and Caruana up against No. 2 Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic and Turkish Ergi Kirkin, 6-3, 6-4 winners over No. 6 American Olukayode Alafia Damina Ayeni and Spanish Nicola Kuhn.
No. 1 Japanese pair Toru Horie and Yuta Shimizu also advanced to the semifinal round after a hard-earned victory over seventh seeds Hungarian Zsombor Piros and Russian Mikhail Sokolovskiy, 6-7 (1), 7-6 (2), 10-4.
Horie and Shimizu will meet the unseeded pair of Croatian Karlo Divkovic and Slovak David Juras, who rallied past the unranked pair of French Constantin Bittoun Kouzmine and Japanese Rimpei Kawakami, 7-6 (4), 3-6, (13-11).
Lim, who is seeded No. 9 in the singles category of the Grade A-level tournament, absorbed a 5-7, 3-6 third-round loss to No. 7 Yuta Shimizu.
Filipino John Bryan Otico also failed to advance, bowing to sixth seed Italian Liam Caruana, 1-6, 1-6.
Caruana will face top seed Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, who secured a quarterfinal berth after his opponent, No. 15 Russian Mikhail Sokolovskiy retired in the second set with Kecmanovic leading at 3-0. The Serbian won the first set, 6-1.
No. 16 Hungarian Zsombor Piros pulled off a 4-6, 7-5, 6-0 victory over fourth seed Australian Popyrin to join No. 2 Japanese Watanuki and No. 3 Spanish Nicola Kuhn in the quarterfinal round.
Piros will be up against No. 10 Taiwanese Yu Hsiou Hsu, who prevailed over Japanese qualifier Takeaki Ito, 6-3, 6-1.
Watanuki downed No. 14 French Constantin Bittoun Kouzmine, 6-3, 6-3 to advance against No. 8 Taiwanese Chien Hsun Lo, a 6-4, 6-2 winner over No. 11 Chinese Lingxi Zhao.
No. 3 Kuhn defeated Australian Benard Bruno Nkomba, 6-3, 6-2 to forge a quarterfinal showdown with No. 7 Shimizu.*PNA
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