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Lock wins maiden ITF in US Futures title

Tennis
ZIMBABWE Davis Cup tennis player Benjamin Lock continued his impressive run of success in the US after winning his maiden title on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures Circuit in Niceville, Florida, at the weekend.

ZIMBABWE Davis Cup tennis player Benjamin Lock continued his impressive run of success in the US after winning his maiden title on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures Circuit in Niceville, Florida, at the weekend.

DANIEL NHAKANISO SPORTS REPORTER

The 21 year old star, who is on a tennis scholarship at Florida State University teamed up with American player Jean-Yves Aubone to win the doubles title at the Bluewater Bay Pro Circuit Championship on Saturday.

It was Lock’s first title on the ITF Futures circuit and his second significant victory in two weeks after recently clinching the 2014 USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational title.

“This was my first time playing with Jean-Yves and it was a great way to get my first title. We combined to play really well from the first match. It was awesome to play with a former Nole (Florida State player). He brought out the best in my game,” Lock said after the win.

“My doubles play has improved tremendously under the coaches at Florida State,” he said.

Lock and Aubone caused a major upset in the opening round of the tournament after upstaging the second seeded pair of Hungarian Peter Nagy and Canadian Antoine Richard, beating them 6-1, 1-6, 1-0 (10-5).

In the second round, they defeated Great Britain’s James Chaudry and Christopher Helliar in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1.

In the semifinals, Lock and Aubone beat Ben McLachlan of New Zealand and Justin Shane of the United States, rallying after dropping the first set, 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-4).

The pair will be hoping for more success when he plays next week in a Futures tournament in Pensacola, Florida.

Lock, who recently helped the Zimbabwe Davis Cup team earn promotion to the 2015 Europe/Africa Zone Group II, earned praise from his coaches at Florida State University after his recent victory.

“We’re pleased with Ben’s development,” Florida State head coach Dwayne Hultquist told the University’s official website. “It’s great seeing him have success in these professional tournaments and in the Davis Cup.”

“The win shows how all of Ben’s hard work and determination is really paying off,” Florida State’s associate coach Nick Crowell added. “This win should give Ben and the rest of our team a lot of confidence and momentum heading into the spring.”

Lock was part of the Zimbabwe team which earned promotion to Europe/Africa Zone Group II after defeating Namibia 2-0 in the promotion play-offs in Egypt.

His recent form in the US will come as a major boost for Zimbabwe’s Davis Cup team which was recently drawn to face Bosnia/Herzegovina in the 2015 Europe/Africa Zone Group II in March next year.