Lim nips Indian foe, stays on title hunt in ITF 14-Under tiff
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - March 13, 2013 - 1:44pm

MANILA, Philippines – Top seed Albert Lim, Jr. overpowered India's Vashisht Vinod Cheruku, 6-1, 6-2, to barge into the semis and remained on course of clinching back-to-back titles in Week Two of the Ajay Pathak Memorial Cup/ITF 14-Under Development Championships at the Rizal Tennis Center today.

Lim, born in Tarlac but grew up in Tondo, Manila, had some anxious moments early in the second set when Cheruku managed to trail just 2-3 before the form got things back into order in sealing the win and a trip back to the semifinals where he'll tackle No. 6 Charles Roberts of Thailand.

Roberts made it through by downing Hong Kong's Sou Ming Chin Alan, 6-1, 6-3, that set him against Lim, who have topped an ITF juniors tournament the country hosted in November last year.

"I got sluggish a bit early in the second set but I regained my focus after it," said the 13-year-old Lim, who steered the Letran Squires to back-to-back NCAA high school titles while emerging the back-to-back MVP.

It was another dominating performance by Lim, who hasn't conceded a single set in his last six matches in this two-week tournament being done in memory and tribute to former Philta official Ajay Pathak.

Another Filipino, Jan Godfrey Seno, who teamed up with Lim in reigning supreme in last week's doubles, failed to sustain his 4-6, 7-6 (1), 7-5 win over Vietnam's  Nguyen Mau Vinh Quang the day before after succumbing to No. 3 Parikshit Somani of India, 4-6, 2-6.

No. 8 Fil-Brit Meredith Jones likewise fell by the wayside after absorbing a painful 1-6, 3-6 defeat at the hands of unranked Sruta Kirti Gunuganti of India that left Lim the last Filipino standing.

"I'm sad they lost but I'm ready to carry the fight for the country," said Lim, who is also a recipient of the Toni Siddayao award in the Philippine Sportswriters Association Awards Night on Saturday at the Manila Hotel.

Gunuganti's win forged her a semis duel with girls' top seed Himani Mor of India, who bucked a fierce opening set challenge put up by Thailand's Yinglak Jittakoat with a 7-5, 6-0 triumph.

Two more upsets rocked the girls' side after No. 5 Mihika Yadav of India humbled last week's runner-up No. 2 Ren Jiaqi of China, 6-3, 6-3, and No. 7 Komola Umorova of Uzbekistan stunned No. 3 Jiang Eunse of Korea, 7-5, 7-6 (3).

AJAY PATHAK ALBERT LIM ANOTHER FILIPINO BACK CHARLES ROBERTS OF THAILAND FIL-BRIT MEREDITH JONES HIMANI MOR OF INDIA HONG KONG JAN GODFREY SENO JIANG EUNSE OF KOREA LIM
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