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(C) AJ Lim


AJ Lim advances to ITF M15 Tianjin quarters with convincing win

Reigning PCA Open champion AJ Lim continued to make heads turn as he overpowered local bet Hanyi Liu, 6-1, 6-3, to advance to the quarterfinals of the ITF M15 Tianjin Tournament in China on Wednesday.

Lim’s dominant win was a fitting follow-up to a 7-5, 3-0 (ret.) victory over another local bet, Sheng Tang, in the opener of the ITF Men’s World Tennis Tour event.

Backed by sportsman Jean Henri Lhuillier and Cebuana Lhuillier Sports, Lim now awaits his quarterfinals opponent, who will be the winner of the clash between another Chinese bet, Zhenxiong Dong, and Kazakhstan’s Grigoriy Lomakin.

A former world-ranked No. 12 in ITF juniors singles, Lim, 25, showed great composure in the first round, surviving a tight opening set before stamping his class in the second set.

The current No. 1 men’s singles player in the country is coming off back-to-back title wins in Lucena and Butuan, performances that served as added fuel to his title campaign abroad – first in China.

Riding the crest of his first-round win, Lim showed no letup and got off to a hot start against Liu, a former No. 719 in ATP rankings. He scored the first four points and kept the pace to take the opening set in rousing fashion.

Liu tried to put up a fight in the second set after forging a 3-3 deadlock, but Lim, sensing blood in the water, went for the kill and scored the next three points to claim the victory.

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