MANILA, Philippines - Alberto Lim Jr., touted as the next big thing in Philippine tennis, fell right in the first round of the 25th Mitsubishi International Junior Championship but Chrislyn Colleen Sioson pulled off a late victory over Fil-Am Samantha Erika Gonzalo at the Rizal Tennis Center yesterday.
Still groping for form with new service and hitting strokes after a coaching change, Lim succumbed to pressure and was swept by lucky loser Hong Kit Jack Wong of Hong Kong, 6-3, 6-2, in the boys’ division.
Lim, who left Manny Tecson’s training team in favor of the Florida-based L’Academie de Tennis (LAT) last January, seized control early with his brand-new booming serves, volleys and backhands and swept the first three games.
But 175th-ranked Filipino in the ITF Junior rankings and the youngest participant in this week-long event at 14, lost steam and Wong came through with counters to sweep the next six games and the set. The HK bet then sustained his form and dominated the next frame behind a solid baseline game.
After the match, Lim complained of hurting his right arm and quickly left.
“I felt something in my arm, some pain,” said Lim, watched by both his current coach American Ollie Townsend of LAT and former Filipino coach Manny Tecson.
Sioson, meanwhile, survived two tiebreakers and outlasted Gonzalo, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (6), to emerge the lone Filipino survivor following a rash of losses by the local bets in both divisions.
Sioson, however, will have her hands full as she draws second seed Greetje Minnen of Belgium in today’s second round.
Wong actually came into the match reeling from a 6-3, 5-7, 1-6 setback to Filipino Vince Salas in Monday’s qualifier but pounced on Lim’s meltdown to pound out the victory and advance.
Like Lim, Eric Olivarez Jr., Jerome Romualdez, Andrew Joshua Cano, Joachim Samson, Marcen Angelo Gonzalez, Dave Sebastian Mosqueda, John Bryan Decasa and Salas all fell by the wayside with crushing defeats.
Salas fell to Joshua Liu, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (6), Olivarez lost to Jack Van Slyke of Canada, 6-4, 6-4, Romualdez bowed to Andrew Hei Yin of Hong Kong, 6-2, 6-1, Cano lost to William Matheson of New Zealand, 6-2, 6-2, Samson was eliminated by Brian Tran of Australia, 6-3, 6-0;
Gonzalez was leading by a set and trailing in the second before he retired and lost to Lewis Roskilly of Great Britain, 4-6, 4-3, Mosqueda was booted out by Sameer Kumar of the US, 6-2, 6-0, and Decasa walloped by Kuan Yi Lee of Taipei, 6-1, 6-0.
The country’s bets in the girls’ division also took the early exit as Roxanne May Resma, Jana Marie Pages and Maria Angela Sunga bowed to Japan’s Yukina Saigo, 6-1, 6-1, Australia’s Chloe Hule, 6-1, 6-4, and Thailand’s Bunyawi Thamchaiwat, 6-1, 6-2, respectively.