Lock brothers progress at ITF Futures tourney

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COURTNEY Lock recorded his biggest win on the ITF Men’s Futures Circuit in what turned out to be a good day for Zimbabwean tennis as his older brother Benjamin also eased into the second round of the Zimbabwe F1 Futures Tournament at Harare Sports Club yesterday.

BY DANIEL NHAKANISO

While all the pre-tournament hype had been on his brother, 18-year-old Courtney stole the spotlight with a stunning 6-1, 6-4 win over the tournament’s second highest-ranked player Arthur Surreaux to progress into the next round of the $10 000 event.

After earning his place in the main draw courtesy of a wild card entry, yesterday’s win guarantees Courtney his first singles ranking points on the circuit as his opponent, 28-year-old Surreaux, has a world ranking of 568. Courtney, who is on a tennis scholarship at Louisiana State University in the United States, showed maturity beyond his years as he kept his temperamental opponent on the back foot right from the start.

“It’s obviously the biggest win of my career,” Courtney said afterwards.

“He (Arthur Surreaux) is a top player, but I’ve been working hard in the US with my coaches at college and have been unlucky recently. I’m really happy with how I played today. I enjoy playing at home and always feel comfortable and everything just came together today,” Courtney said.

While Courtney was celebrating his win, his brother Benjamin, who is fresh from a maiden singles tennis win in Mozambique, needed to dig dip after a slow start before prevailing over Ireland’s Samuel Bothwell.

The 22-year-old Florida State University ace conceded the first set 2-6 before showing his class by winning the next two sets 6-3, 6-2 with ease to progress to the next round.

“I didn’t play my best today. Conditions here in Zimbabwe are different conditions from Mozambique so it always takes a set to get into it. Credit to him, he took his chances in the first set but I kept calm and managed to get the job done win.”

Benjamin congratulated his young brother on his win.

“It’s a huge win for him and I’m very happy for him. The win gives him his first professional points and to do it at home in front of the fans is just great,” he said.