BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Zimbabwe Davis Cup star Courtney Lock is excited to be back representing the country in the competition ahead of a tricky Euro/Africa Zone Group II away to Romania this weekend.
Lock missed the last two ties, the 3-1 home win over Turkey and the 4-1 defeat in Poland last year due to college commitments.
The younger of the two Lock brothers, has since turned professional and it will be his first time playing in the Davis Cup as a professional tennis player.
“It feels great to be back in the Davis Cup team. I missed both ties last year due to college commitments so it’s special to be back. It is my favourite tournament of the year and to miss both ties last year was really tough for me,” Lock told NewsDay Sport.
“It’s great to be here. I think we have a really good squad and we are working very well and I am excited for the week ahead,” he added.
Courtney joins older brother Benjamin in the team which comprises Zimbabwe number one player Takanyi Garanganga and youngster Mehluli Sibanda.
Zimbabwe ranked 61st in the Davis Cup, will have to dig deep into their reserves to upset the 42nd ranked Eastern Europeans who will be playing in their own backyard.
Courtney is confident that the team has what it takes to upstage Romania this weekend.
“It’s a challenge, (because) they are the number one seeds in the draw so it’s going to be a tough match, but Benjie and I have beaten top 50 players in the past and Takanyi has beaten top 100 ATP players so the potential is there and it’s just about pulling together on the day.
“I think we have a good chance because the Davis Cup is different from any other tournament. There is so much more that goes into it that’s why we see upsets all-around the world. We are confident, but we know it’s going to be a tough match. We will have to have to play our best, but we are confident and everyone in the team is feeling good so far,” he said.
In its ranks Romania boasts of Marius Copil, who is ranked 80 in singles, Dragos Dima in 327th place as well as Horia Tecau, ranked at an impressive 33 in doubles in the world.
Florin Mergea, Filip Jianu and Edris Fetisleam complete the team while Gabriel Trifu is the non-playing captain.