FOUNTAIN VALLEY — In April, Anaheim's Eric Lin showed he was one of the top junior tennis players in Southern California by advancing to the semifinals of the Miami Easter Bowl tournament.
Later that month and then in early June, Lin hoped to take that a step further by winning the Ojai interscholastic and Southern Section individual tournaments. But a bothersome elbow injury forced him to withdraw from both events.
Now Lin is back playing his first tournament in more than two months--the Southern California Sectionals at Los Caballeros Racquet Club.
Does he have anything to prove?
"No, I'm not like that," Lin said. "I know on any given day any of these guys can beat me."
Not Sunday. Lin, seeded third in the boys' 18 division, breezed past Cerritos' Ryan Junio, 6-2, 6-3, and into today's finals against top-seeded Glen Weiner of Cypress.
"Ryan looked like he really wasn't into it, like he wasn't trying his hardest," Lin said. "I was lucky to catch him on a day like that."
On Saturday, Lin beat seventh-seeded Phillip Tseng of Los Angeles in a tough three-set match. However, Lin said he's still not convinced his elbow is back to where it was before the Easter Bowl tournament.
"It hasn't gotten any worse," said Lin, who will play college tennis at UCLA next year. "I took a month off from tennis, but that really didn't help that much. It still hurts a little when I serve."
Lin said the real test will come today at noon when he plays Weiner, his doubles partner.
"It should be a fun match," said Lin, who lost to Weiner, 7-5, 7-5, in last year's sectionals. "This should tell me where I am with my elbow."
Fullerton's Kevin Kim didn't have much fun playing his doubles partner, Jason Weiss of Calabasas, in the boys' 16 semifinals. Kim, seeded first, lost to the fifth-seeded Weiss, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.
"I'd rather play somebody else," said a dejected Kim after the match.
Kim broke Weiss to take a 5-4 lead in the third set, but he lost three consecutive games to lose the match. Most of Kim's problems stemmed from an ineffective serve.
After holding three service games in a row to open the third set, Kim's serve was broken the last three times.
"If we had won my serves, it wouldn't have been such a push match," said Kim, who will be a sophomore at Sunny Hills High next year. "I've been kind of struggling with my serve."
In the girls' 14, Villa Park's Faye DeVera, seeded second, advanced to this morning's 10:30 final with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over fifth-seeded Alexandra Stevenson of San Diego. DeVera will play top-seeded Erin Bosclair of Agoura.