TEENAGE tennis sensation AJ Lim debuts for the Philippines in Davis Cup play when he squares off against David Agung Susanto of Indonesia in their Asia/Oceania first round Group 2 tie which begins on Friday at the Philippine Columbian Association courts in Plaza Dilao, Manila.
The 17-year-old Lim, ranked No. 42 in the ITF juniors, battles Indonesia’s appointed number one player for the tie in Susanto for the first singles match set at 3 p.m.
Lim, the highest ranked Filipino junior netter today, admitted having mixed feelings entering his first-ever Davis Cup outing.
“Excited po at ninenerbyos,” said Lim following the draw ceremony held at the PCA on Thursday morning. “Hindi ko po in-expect ito.”
Lim said he has a 'nothing-to-lose' attitude going into the match against Susanto.
“Ta-try ko lang po ‘yung best ko. Nothing to lose. Mas matanda po siya sa akin. Feeling ko naman po may chance basta gagawin ko 100 percent best ko,” said Lim.
Non-playing team captain Karl Santamaria looks forward to having Lim in the team, saying that the junior netter fits the format of the Davis Cup.
“I like his confidence when he plays,” said Santamaria. “I like his swag, so to speak, which is really perfect for team events.”
“What a better way to make his debut that in our home with all the Filipinos watching,” he added.
Santamaria is confident Lim will deliver in the first match that will come right before the singles battle between Ruben Gonzales and Aditya Hari Sasongko.
“Just give them everything you have. We have your back,” said Santamar
“Ganun po talaga ako maglaro,” addedLim, when asked to comment on Santamaria’s thoughts about him. “Talagang tinutulungan nila ako para malabas ko ‘yung nerbiyos ko.”
Meanwhile, Treat Huey and Francis Casey Alcantara battle Anthony Susanto and Sunu Wahyu Trijati in the doubles match set on Saturday, 2 p.m. The reverse singles will pit Gonzales against David Aguing Susanto, and Lim against Sasongko on Sunday.
Indonesia is considered as the underdogs after top netter Christopher Rungkat, a partner of Alcantara in doubles tournaments in the ITF circuit, begged off from the competition.
Alcantara, however, believes Indonesia remains a formidable team even without Rungkat, whom he considers one of his best friends.
“They still have the same team without Rungkat. All the guys on the team are good players and this is the Davis Cup. Bumubuhos naman lahat kapag Davis Cup,” said Alcantara.