Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
IT will be an all-Zimbabwean final in the third tournament of the International Tennis Federation Old Mutual Series when Benjamin Lock and Takanyi Garanganga face each other this morning at Harare Sports Club. This is the last event of the three tournaments that have been running since May 28 and today’s final is a repeat of the first week when the two Zimbabweans met in the final. Benjamin, who is the top seed, overcame fellow Davis Cup teammate Mehluli Sibanda 6-2, 6-4 yesterday to sail through to the final.
“Of course I knew he was coming out pretty relaxed, got nothing to lose, he has made semi-final before.
“So I knew he was not going to be that nervous and (was) going to play free tennis and really aggressive and I expected that.
“But I executed a very good game plan and I figured out how to put him in uncomfortable positions and I think that really worked well today.
“Of course, credit to him, he played really well and it’s great to see a young guy from Zimbabwe coming through.
“Mehluli pushed me today but I was very pleased to see that because obviously I want the best for my fellow Davis Cup teammates. And also he is really a good friend of mine, so I was really happy,” said Benjamin. Sibanda, who graduated from the juniors at the end of last year, said it has been a worthwhile three weeks.
“It’s not too bad, but I was hoping to make it to the final at least. But I mean two semi-finals and a quarter-final is not bad at all. I am pretty impressed about my performance today, I just played better so I am pretty happy.
“In the first set I was hesitating a little bit. I was a little bit tight but second set I realised I could beat him, so then I started getting loose and started going for my shots.
“It was tough, I mean, I also think he had to play well to beat me, so we played pretty good both of us so I am happy.
“I knew it was going to be tough and he is a good player, I mean he has won these tournaments before and I just knew I had to play well and I did so I am pretty happy,” said Sibanda.
Garanganga, seeded second,m cruised into the final with a 6-2, 6-4 win over South Africa’s Lance-Pierre Du Toit.
Benjamin and his young brother Courtney also claimed their third doubles title without hitting the ball when the pair of Jordan Parker of United States and Great Britain’s Isaac Stoute forfeited the final match.