TOP Filipino junior player Alberto “AJ” Lim Jr., who slid to 52nd place in the International Tennis Federation Juniors rankings this month, is the newest member of the Philippine Davis Cup team.
The 17-year-old Lim, college freshman at the University of the East-Manila, replaced Jeson Patrombon.
Philippine Tennis Association secretary-general Romeo Magat has confirmed Lim’s entry into the national squad yesterday as the Philta celebrated the birthday of honorary chairman Salvador Andrada.
Lim, who has competed in 12 tournaments this year, including the Junior Australian Open, French Open and US Open, will join regulars Francis Casey Alcantara, Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales.
“He is the newest member of the team and he will join the seasoned members of the team,” said Magat.
Lim, who began the 2016 season with a career-high ranking of No. 12, will make his debut when the Philippines faces Indonesia from Feb. 3 to 5 at the Philippine Columbian Association indoor courts in Paco, Manila.
The Philippines is seeded third in the Group 2 of the Asia/Oceania bracket and is with top-ranked Pakistan, second seed Thailand, no. 4 Vietnam, Iran, Hong Kong and Kuwait.
His best performance this season was when he made the singles’ finals at the Asian B1 ITF Pune Open Juniors in May, losing to Japanese Naoki Tajima, 3-6, 1-6.
Early this week, Lim played in the Hong Kong F4 Futures and lost to Shuichi Shekiguchi, 4-6, 6-3, 3-6.
His father Alberto Sr. said his son had laid low from his campaigns in preparation for the Davis Cup.
He will continue playing in the Hong Kong Futures next week, before joining the 2017 Australian Open this January.
His stints will get him ready for the Davis Cup, according to Alberto Sr.
Lim was a quarterfinalist at the 53rd Coffee Bowl (Copa del Café) in Costa Rica in January and the Eddie Herr ITF Juniors, which served as tune-up tournament for the Metropolia Orange Bowl held early this month in Florida, USA.
The national team coaching staff, led by Chris Cuarto, put Lim in place of Patrombon after the Philippines bowed to Taipei, 1-2, the last time around.