WITH much more experienced players vying for the title in the ATP Challenger Philippine Open, young Filipino netter AJ Lim is keeping expectations moderate and focusing on preparations for his bid in the Australian Open juniors tournament next week.
The 16-year-old Lim, the country’s top junior netter with a ranking at No. 12 in the world, is a wild card entry in the $75,000 tournament along with Ruben Gonzales and Jeson Patrombon.
“I look at it as a preparation for tournaments like the Australian Open,” said Lim, a day before he faces 3-year-old Frenchman David Guez on Monday at the newly-refurbished Rizal Memorial Tennis Center centre court to start off the main draw.
Patrombon and Gonzales also face tough matches in the first round.
Patrombon takes on fifth-seed Kimmer Coppejans of Belgium, while Gonzales faces seventh-ranked Igor Sijsling of Netherlands.
Francis Alcantara, meanwhile, goes up against unranked Amir Weintraub of Israel.
Diego Garcia Dalisay failed in his attempt to move to the main draw after bowing to Nikola Mektic of Serbia, 6-2, 6-2, on Sunday in the qualifying round.
The 16-year-old Dalisay, debuting for the Philippines in international play, was simply overpowered by the power-hitting Mektic, ranked seventh in the qualifiers who hit six aces.