Courtney Lock will be the only Zimbabwean player in the singles final of the ITF Southern African Junior tennis tournament currently taking place in Windhoek, after completion of the semi-finals yesterday.
Lock, who is the younger brother Benjamin – who is now based at Florida State University on a tennis scholarship-qualified for todays Under-16 boys final after beating Lebelo Mosehle from Lesotho 6-4, 6- 2.
He is set to clash with South African Lloyd Harris, who made sure it would not be an all-Zimbabwean final after beating Alwyn Mushonga 6-0, 6-1 in the other semi-final.
The finals will take place at the National Tennis Stadium in Olympia today starting at 0900 hours. In the girls Under-14 semi-final Keren Muswere of Zimbabwe lost to the top seeded Nadine de Villiers of South 6-2, 6-2, while Randy Randrianasoloson of Madagascar beat Lee Barnard of South Africa in a titanic match, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6).
However, while local players could not make it to todays finals, six of the 11 players in the Zimbabwe junior team still managed to qualify for the African Junior Championships Tennis finals to be hosted in Cairo, Egypt, later this year.
Lock and Mushonga qualified to represent Zimbabwe in the boys Under-16 while Tadiwa Mushonga and Keith Mwashita who both fell in the quarter-finals qualified in the boys Under-14 category.
The Mutare-based duo of Muswere who lost in the semis yesterday, and Karen Machisa, who was knocked out in the quarter-finals qualified to represent Zimbabwe in the girls Under-14 category.
Zimbabwe girls, however, miss out in the girls Under-16 category where Latifah Yasini and Zara Finnigan were both eliminated in the early stages of the tournament.
Freeman Nyamunokora, one of the Zimbabwean coaches, attributed the countrys poor performance in the girls Under-16 category to the withdrawal of Thabile Tshatedi due to injury and Nicole Dzenga who recently enrolled at the IPS Academy in Nice, France.
Its good that we will have six players in Egypt, but it could have been more if we had our top players in the girls Under-16 category. Unfortunately Thabile (Tshatedi) suffered an injury just before the start of the tournament while Nicole Dzenga could not attend as she is now based in France.
Courtney Lock, who is the top seed in his category, has, however, been impressive in all his matches and hopefully he will win tomorrow (today)s final, said Nyamunokora in a telephone interview from Namibia yesterday.