Pinoys endure rough first day at Mitsubishi International Junior Tennis Championships
MANILA, Philippines - Being a “lucky loser” seems to suit Hong Kong tennis player Jack Wong to a T.
Picked as a wild card into the main draw despite losing in the qualifying event, Wong sustained his good luck by humbling fancied Filipino AJ Lim Jr., 6-3, 6-2, in the opening round of the 25th Mitsubishi International Junior Tennis Championships at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center on Tuesday, March 18.
Competing under a scorching noonday sun, the 15-year-old southpaw thrived and rallied from a 0-3 first-set deficit to subdue his fading foe in one hour and 22 minutes at center court in front of a shocked hometown crowd.
It was a stunning ending for Lim, touted as the country’s next tennis star, given the fact that he entered the competition with a high International Tennis Federation junior ranking of No. 145 in contrast to the lowly No. 425 standing of his opponent.
Equally dismayed were Ollie Townsend and Patrick Carpio, American coach and owner of the Florida-based L’Academie de Tennis, respectively, who announced last Monday at a press conference that they had awarded the 14-year-old Filipino with a scholarship.
With Townsend and Carpio looking intently at their defeated ward, a grim-looking Lim pointed to an aching and tight right shoulder for his upset loss. He then left the venue immediately without saying a word.
Ranked No. 2 in the ITF 14-and-under boys division, the Filipino player hopes to redeems himself on Wednesday when he teams up in the boys doubles with German Klingebiel against the local pair of Dave Mosqueda and Eric Olivarez Jr.
“I just played better after I was down 0-3 in the first set and tried to move my opponent around,” said Wong, who faces 12th-seeded Lin Liang Lu, who drew an opening-round bye and is ranked 109th in the world.
Tran eliminated Filipino Joachim Samson, 6-3, 6-0.
Ironically, the Filipino who beat Wong in the qualifiers, Vince Russel Salas, failed to hurdle the first round.
Salas, who dumped Wong, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1, last Monday, was unable to sustain his comeback against Singapore’s Joshua Liu, dropping a 4-6, 6-1, 6-7 (7-6) decision that typified a dreadful day for the hosts.
The only survivor among the locals was wildcard entry Chrislyn Colleen Sioson, who struggled past Fil-Am Samantha Ericka Gonzalo 7-6, 7-6.
Among the other Filipino casualties in the boys singles were Olivarez Jr, Jerome Romualdez, who lost to Hong Kong’s His Yin Andrew 1-6, 3-6; Andrew Joshua Cano, who got dumped by New Zealand’s William Matheson, 2-6, 2-6;
John Bryan de Casa, who was taken out by Chinese-Taipei’s Kuan Yi-Lee 1-6, 0-6, Mosqueda, who lost to American Sameer Kumar 2-6, 0-6 and Marco Angelo Gonzales, who retired 4-6, 4-3 against Briton Clement Larriere.
Falling wayside in the girls bracket were Roxanne Mae Resma, who lost to Japan’s Yokina Saigo, 1-6, 1-6; Khai Iglupas, who lost to Thailand’s Thamachand Moomkoonthind, 0-6, 6-7 (2); and Jana Maria Pages, who lost to Australia’s Chole Hole, 1-6, 4-6. - Rappler.com