TOP seed Courtney Lock was denied a memorable home singles final place at International Tennis Federation (ITF) 18-and-Under South Central Circuit tournament, but secured a consolation by claiming the doubles title at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
After a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 loss in the singles semi-final to Egypt’s El Sallaly Akram, Lock returned a hour later to claim the doubles title with playing partner Gueninle Quattara from Ivory Coast.
The pair comfortably won the doubles final with a 6-2, 6-2 straight sets win over Belarus’ Uladzimir Dorash and Simon Fiala from Austria.
However, just an hour it had looked like Zimbabwe would finish the opening leg of the three back-to-back ITF tournaments empty handed after Lock and been knocked out in the semifinals.
Zimbabwe’s leading junior tennis player, who was yet to drop a set in the tournament, lost the first set but recovered to win a closely fought second set to set up a decisive third and final set.
With a place in today’s final at stake in the third set, Lock simply had no answer to Akram’s outstanding strokeplay and couldn’t find the aggression that helped him to reach the semis.
Afterwards Lock said: “I was two up in the first set and he managed to play well and win the set. In the second set I played well to win it and he was brilliant in the third set as he didn’t make any mistakes. I still have two more chances in the coming weeks and will continue working hard to make sure I do well for the country,” said Lock.
With yesterday’s win Akram set up a final showdown against Ivory Coast’s Gueninle Quattara, who rallied from a set down to beat Syria’s Kareem Allaf 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Ukraine’s Andrieieva Oleksandra booked her place in today’s final after a hard fought 6-7 (8), 7-6 (4), 6-2 win over Laila Elnimr of Egypt.
Oleksandra will next face Habiba Lasheen in the girls’ singles final after the second seeded Egyptian beat Japan’s Natsumi Okamoto 3-6, 6-0, 6-4.