The country’s No. 1 junior Alberto Lim Jr. downed Japanese Ryuya Ata, 6-0, 6-2, on Monday in the first round of the Osaka Mayor’s Cup – World Junior Tennis Championships at the Utsubo Tennis Center.
The victory set up the ninth-seeded Lim against Japanese Tatsuki Shimamoto, who scored a 7-6(2), 6-4 victory over Australian qualifier Anthony Popyrin.
“I got a lot of confidence after winning my match today because everything was working well for me, mixing up shot volleys and a lot of plays,” said the 17-year-old Filipino, who arrived in Japan on Sunday.
Lim, who sustained an ankle injury while playing at the US Open Juniors last month, said he is fit to play.
“My ankle feels 99 percent better now and I think that it will not bother me at all anymore,” said Lim, the world’s No. 47 junior player.
“The weather is good here, it’s not as hot, and the courts are perfect for my game,” added Lim, who also competed in the Australian Open Juniors and the French Open Juniors this year.
Lim is making his second appearance in the Osaka Mayor’s Cup since 2013 when he was against players two to three years older than him.
“My expectation in this tournament is just to play. Think as every match is the final match and just take it one match at a time,” said Lim, a college freshman taking up management at the University of the East.
Joining Lim in the second round is compatriot John Bryan Otico, who prevailed over Japanese Hikaru Shiraishi. Otico will next meet No. 12 Naoki Tajima, a 7-6(5), 6-1 winner over Australian Moerani Bouzige.
Arthur Craig Patino, another Filipino competing in this Grade A-level tournament, lost to Japanese Takeaki Ito, 2-6, 0-6.
Ito, who entered the main draw as a qualifier, will face Yanki Erel of Turkey, who defeated Japanese Toru Horie, 6-2, 6-4.