Zimbabwe’s top junior tennis player Benjamin Lock progressed to the second round of the doubles tennis event at the 19th edition of the International Juniors tournament at Offenbach in Germany on Wednesday.
Lock who was partnered by Korean Kim Jae Hwan beat the German pair of Delf Gohlke and Luca Marquand 6-3, 6-4 in straight sets.
Lock and Hwan are scheduled to meet the Belgian Bogaert Romain and German Patrick Elias today in the second round.
The talented local tennis ace is using the tournament as preparation for the prestigious Junior Championships at Wimbledon from June 26.
Lock had got off to the worst possible start in Germany after crashing out in the first round of singles tournament on Tuesday.
Lock who was knocked out in the qualifying singles draw of the Roland Garros Junior Championship recently, lost 7-5, 6-2 to Tim Srkala of Switzerland.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) Grade One tournament, which will run until Saturday, is being played on a clay surface, which Lock has struggled on in singles events in recent tournaments.
The 18-year-old Lock, who is ranked 70 in the world, went into the singles match with an edge over his Swiss opponent, ranked a lowly 132 on the ITF Junior rankings.
The reigning NetOne Zim Open champion has struggled in his recent matches on clay as he prefers to play on hardcourt and grass surfaces.
In the four tournaments he has so far played in, in Italy, Spain and Belgium, prior to the one in Germany, he has not managed to get beyond the first round.
The Pretoria-based budding tennis star, whose favourite international tennis player is Czech Republic star Tomas Berdych, is part of the ITF/Grand Slam International 18-and-under team, which is currently on an eight-week-tour of Europe.
The tour is financed by the Grand Slam Development Fund, which provides players with the opportunity to take part in top-level international competitions.
Lock’s next stop will now be the United Kingdom where he will take part in a training camp before concluding his tour with another junior grand slam tournament at the prestigious Junior Championships at Wimbledon which start from June 26.
Besides the competition such tours also provide players with the invaluable experience of travelling abroad as part of a team under the guidance of seasoned ITF coaches.