It’s all over for the Philippine stand in the 24th Mitsubishi Lancer international junior tennis championships on just the second day of action yesterday at Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.
Jurence Zosimo Mendoza, the boys’ singles ninth seed and young Alberto Lim Jr. dropped close matches and Maika Jae Tanpoco found the girls’ singles top seed just too good.
French qualifier Alexandre Muller dealt the most stinging defeat when he pulled the rug from under Mendoza, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
The 16-year-old Muller, ranked 198th in the world, outlasted a cramping Mendoza in the one-hour-and-a-half match under intense heat.
“I have no excuse, he was the fitter player today,” said the 17-year-old Mendoza, ranked 54th in the world, after the match.
The 13-year-old Lim, the youngest Phinma juniors champion last year and last week’s Ajay Pathak/Asia 14-under back-to-back week champion, took a 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3) loss from Korean 14th seed Lee Duck-hee.
Never in match
Tanpoco was never in the match against Ipek Soylu of Turkey, who coasted to a 6-3, 6-1 win.
The early wipeout extended the country’s drought in the Grade 1 event to 16 years in singles competitions. The last time a Filipino won was in 1997 when Maricris Fernandez annexed the girls’ singles crown.
Lim, who won his first-round assignment against Ronan Joncour of France, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, last Tuesday, said he’s thankful of the exposure against a world-class field.
Muller will face in the third round Mehdi Abid of Tunisia, who stunned 7th seed Lucas Miedler of Austria, 6-4, 6-4.
The 14-year-old Lee, who won the singles and doubles crown in a similar tourney in India last January, will next face top seed Borna Coric of Croatia, who drubbed Thai Krittin Koaykul, 6-0, 6-2.