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PATHAK-ITF TENNIS

Lim, Thai ace seal title clash

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FILIPINO Alberto Lim Jr. and Thai Vorachon Rakpuangchon outclassed their respective opponents yesterday to arrange a title showdown in the Ajay Pathak Memorial Cup ITF 14-Under Developmental Championship Division I at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.

Lim, the 13-year-old boys’ top seed from Sampaloc, Manila, overwhelmed No. 5 Prakshit Somani of India, 6-0, 6-1, before the second-seeded Rakpuangchon ripped Hong Kong’s Alan Sou Ming Chun, 6-2, 6-1, to seal their championship meeting today at 8:30 a.m.

Expectations are high for Lim, who won several titles last year including the tough Phinma Juniors championships in December.

“I’m finding my form and hopefully tomorrow I will be able to go all the way,” said Lim, who will rely on his speed and solid forehand returns against the Thai, ranked No. 1,118, who is equally quick with his double-handed shots.

Ranked 407th in the world, Lim is hoping to climb higher with his impressive showing in this twin tournament lined up by ITF Grand Slam Development Fund and the Philippine Tennis Academy for the region’s leading junior players.

Meanwhile, upset wins marked the girls’ semifinals with Mor Himani of India toppling top seed China’s Tang Yutong, 6-3, 6-2, to forge a title duel with Ren Jiaqi of China, who pulled the rug from under fourth seed Jan Eun-se of South Korea, 6-1, 6-0.

The event is supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, Technifibre Balls, Wilkins, Mariposa Foundation, Cebuana Lhuillier, Chowking and Trans-Asia Corp.

The second phase of the tournament, held in memory of Ajay Pathak, the late Philippine Tennis Association vice president and ITF official, will begin on Tuesday. The indefatigable Filipino-Indian died last year.


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