Young Zimbabwean tennis sensation Benjamin Lock won the five-day warm-up tournament of the 34th African Junior Tennis Championships in Botswana over the weekend.
The victory puts the South Africa based young tennis star in contention to win the tournament proper which served off at Notwane Tennis Centre in Gaborone Monday.
Lock who is seeded second completed a double at the warm-up tournament after winning both the singles and the doubles titles in which he partnered compatriot Tendai Tapfuma.
The Pretoria Boys High school boy, who is ranked second on the continent, comfortably beat South African Wayne Montgomery, who was seeded sixth in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 in the singles final.
In the doubles final he partnered Tapfuma, who is based at the Centre Tshwane and won the final by default after Croatian Faber Mateo, who had partnered Napolitano Stefano of Italy retired hurt with the Zimbabwean pair leading 4-0 in the first set.
The warm-up tournament which ran until Sunday provided an opportunity to the players to adapt and acclimatise for the all-important African Junior Championships which served off Monday.
While the warm-up tournament attracted players from the African continent, Canada, Australia, and Europe, the tournament proper which start Wednesday is for African players only.
According to the draw released yesterday second seed Lock had received a bye to the round of 16 where he was scheduled to meet the winner between Jean-Jacques Rakotohasy of Madagascar and Nigerian Samuel Omoile.
Tapfuma, who was seeded 12th, was set to meet Tunisian Ameur Ben Hassen yesterday. Zimbabwe is being represented by 12 players in the girls’ and boys’ Under-14, U-16 and U-18 categories and the tournament will give them a chance to of rake valuable ITF ranking points.
The 34th African Junior Championships is an ITF Grade 2 tournament and players qualified after taking part in one of three zonal championships which took place in January in West, Central, Southern and East Africa.
Zimbabwe: Nicole Dzenga, Tadiwa Chinamo, Ngoni Chiwetete, Karen Muswere, Ronzai Saurombe, Thabile Tshatedi, Taremeredzwa Mariga, Valeria Bhunu, Vimbai Ugaro, Pauline Chawafambira, Tendai Tapfuma and Benjamin Lock
Coaches: Richmore Murape and Freeman Nyamunokora