THE COUNTRY’S rising tennis stars, Jurence Mendoza and Albert Lim Jr., are expected to get a boost in the world rankings after their recent impressive showing.
Mendoza, who at 16 is already a practice player of the Philippine Davis Cup team, made the third round of the tough Chang LTAT ITF juniors championships in Nonthaburi, Thailand, last week.
He is expected to improve to the top 40 from his current world ranking of 57th, according to his coach Manny Tecson who joined him in the Southeast Asian swing.
Tecson, who guided the young career of PH Cupper Jeson Patrombon, said Mendoza will see action in two Grade 1 events in Kuching, Malaysia, and the Mitsubishi Lancer International juniors here in Manila.
“Breaking into the top 50 is a big psychological advantage for any player and I am hoping Jurence will be able to capitalize on this against his opponents,” said Tecson of the lefty Mendoza, who in 2011 stunned his rivals to make the finals of the PCA Open men’s singles at the age of 15.
Another teener on the rise is Lim who topped the Ajay Pathak/Asian 14-under tourney at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center last week. He will go for a back-to-back title romp starting today in the second phase of the event.
Lim, 13, is currently at 407th in the world and is eyeing to break the top 100 by yearend, according to Tecson.
The coach added that Mendoza and Lim will play doubles team during the Mitsubishi Lancer Open slated March 20 to 25 also at RMTC.
“It is going to be a very interesting combination with two Filipinos partnering together for the first time in a long while,” added Tecson.
Mendoza made the semifinals of the event last year, losing only to eventual champion Nikola Milojevic, (7-6 (7-1), 6-0). Patrombon also reached the finals in 2011.
Lim, who won back-to-back MVP plums in steering the Letran Squires to the NCAA high school titles in the last two seasons, will again be the player to beat in the ITF events. Challenge will come from doubles partner Seno and fellow local aces Jerome Romualdez, John Bryan Otico and Arthur Craig Pantino.
Fil-British Meredith Jones, seeded eighth, seeks to atone for her failed bid in the girls’ singles last week as she takes on unranked Kim Yulla of Uzbekistan in one of the main draw matches.