United States-based tennis star Benjamin Lock will have an opportunity to test himself against higher ranked opponents ahead of Zimbabwe’s make-or-break Davis Cup Euro/Africa Group II relegation playoff against Moldova in July after receiving an invite to play in the 2015 NCAA Individual Championships in Texas.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The 2015 NCAA Individual Championships, the pinnacle of collegiate tennis in the US, will be held from May 20 to 26 at the Hurd Tennis Center in Waco, Texas.
Lock, who will partner Marco Nunez in the doubles competition, becomes the first Florida State University player to be selected for both the doubles and singles draw since American tennis player Vahid Mirzadeh in 2011.
“It feels great to make the singles and doubles events at the NCAA Tournament,” said Lock, who was last week named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference men’s tennis team.
“As an individual, this is what you practice for the whole year so I’m just glad I will be able to compete.”
Lock added that he was relishing the opportunity of partnering Nunez in the doubles competition where the pair are ranked 16th in the US.
“We’ll get the chance to compete with the best. Marco and I have done well at national tournaments before so we’re really excited to go play in Texas and see what we can do,” he said.
Lock’s participation at the 2015 NCAA Individual Championships comes as a huge boost to his preparations for the make or break relegation playoff match against Moldova in the capital during the weekend of July 17-19.
Zimbabwe needs a win against Moldova for them to remain in Group II after they lost 1-4 to Bosnia/Herzegovina in March in what was their first Davis Cup home tie in nine years.
Besides Lock, other local tennis players expected to make the Martin Dzuwa-captained side are Takanyi Garanganga, Mark Fynn and Tinotenda Chanakira.