ALBERT “AJ” Lim gave himself a fitting birthday present by ruling the China Junior Beijing Tennis Tournament over the weekend in Beijing.
Seeded fourth in the tournament three rungs below a Grand Slam event, Lim beat Taiwanese top seed Wu Tung-lin, 1-3, (ret.), for his first big international title in a burgeoning tennis career.
The Taiwanese, whom Lim beat in a Hong Kong tournament, retired after almost 30 minutes of fierce action due to sprain. He also retired when he lost to Lim in Hong Kong.
The title win was a follow-up to Lim’s conquest of the One Cainta tournament a couple of months ago where he beat several men’s players. Lim was coached by brother and Manila Councilor Numero Lim, himself a former top junior player.
“It’s a good thing I trained long and hard for this tournament that’s why I was to wear him out,” said Lim who advanced to the final after outlasting Chinese second seed Sheng Hao Zhou.
Except in the semis where he had to go through the proverbial eye of the needle before beating his Chinese foe, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-4, Lim, who turned 15 Sunday, never dropped a set in his first two games.
The Taiwanese, who bundled out his first three opponents in straight sets, was all praise for Lim afterward, saying the top Filipino junior player has also improved tremendously since their last meeting.