Third seed Yusuke Takahashi got back at Alberto Lim Jr., 6-4, 6-1, to end the Filipino teener’s quest for a second straight title and advance to the Final Four of the Phinma International Juniors (Week Two) Tennis Championships at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center on Thursday.
Takahashi, who lost to Lim in last week’s finals of the event, 3-6, 3-6, asserted his might this time against the youngest participant in the meet, breaking the 13-year-old Lim once in the opening set before dominating the next.
Takahashi, who earlier turned back Aussie qualifier Brian Tran, 1-6, 6-2, 6-1, guns for a finals spot on Friday against fifth pick Ahmed Deedat Abdul Razak of Malaysia, who stunned top seed Chen Wei-jen of Chinese Taipei, 6-2, 6-2.
Unseeded Shoma Kato of Japan also upended second seed Teeradon Tortrakul of Thailand, 6-4, 6-3, leaving compatriot Takahashi as the highest-seeded bet in the event sponsored by Phinma and backed by Technifibre, Viva mineral water, Powerade, and the Philippine Sports Commission.
Kato, who got past No. 8 Daniel Nolan of Australia, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5), Wednesday, will face No. 7 Sora Fukuda of Japan, who smashed No. 4 Chen Xin of China, 6-4, 6-2, in the other semis duel.
Lim’s fall also wiped out the Filipino bets in the last of two ranking tournaments sanctioned by the Philippine Tennis Association which the host dominated last week through Lim and Marian Capadocia’s sweep of the boys and girls titles.
Fancied Chabng Ya Ting of Chinese Taipei, No. 6 Tamachan Momkoonthod of Thailand, No. 4 Plobrung Plipuech of Thailand and Mo. 2 Miki Kobayashi of Japan all crashed out, leaving the battle for the girls’ crown wide open.
Chang fell to Japan's Yukina Saigo, 6-0, 2-6, 5-7; Momkoonthod absorbed a 6-3, 0-6, 6-7(2) defeat at the hands of India's Pranjala Yadlapalli; Plipuech bowed to Gabriella Umoquit of the US, 3-6, 4-6; and Kobayashi lost to Nozomi Ohya, 7-6(5), 5-7, 3-6.