Alberto Lim Jr. lived up to his lofty billing by routing Vorachon Rakpuangchon of Thailand, 6-2, 6-2, Saturday to as he finally laid claim to what was rightfully his, routing his Thai foe to capture the boys’ singles title in the Ajay Pathak Memorial Cup ITF 14-Under Developmental Championship Division I at Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.
Displaying a big forehand and impressive quickness, the chubby 13-year-old easily swept past the second seed to rule the tournament without giving up a single set.
The NCAA singles champ from Letran, who picked up the sport as a stocky 7-year-old bundle of power from Sampaloc, nailed his third straight title after topping the Phinma juniors and the Orange Bowl last year.
“I was feeling really good with my game and gained a lot of confidence because of my international exposure,” said Lim who is looking to break the top 100 in juniors this year, a feat his former stablemate Jeson Patrombon accomplished when he was 17.
“My coach said that we will compete here not just for exposure but to win the tournament,” added Lim in reference to his coach, former Davis Cupper Manny Tecson.
Lim now tries to pull off a double when week 2 of the event put up by the ITF Grand Slam Development Fund and the Philippine Tennis Academy starts on Tuesday.
Seventh seed Himani Mor of India sustained her run of upset victories to clinch the girls’ crown after rolling back sixth-ranked Ren JiaQi of China, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1. Mor shocked Chinese top seed Tang Yutong (6-3, 6-2) in the semis.
En route to the title, Lim whipped Jiang XingSheng of China, 6-1, 6-0, in the second round, Charles Roberts of Thailand, 6-2, 6-2, in the quarterfinals before booking a finals seat with a 6-0, 6-1 rout of India’s Parkshit Somani.
Vorachon, also 13, made the finals via a 6-2, 6-1 beating of third seed Alan Sou Ming Chun of Hong Kong.
Lim, currently ranked 407th in the world and earned 450 ranking points for the win, downplayed his chances for a second straight crown, saying he has yet to see who will be joining the second phase of the tourney held in honor of the late Philippine Tennis Association vice president and supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, Technifibre Balls, Wilkins, Mariposa Foundation, Cebuana Lhuillier, Chowking and Trans Asia Corp.