Benjamin Lock in good start

Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
TOP seed Benjamin Lock advanced to the second round of the ongoing International Tennis Federation Old Mutual Futures Series when he beat William Bushamuka yesterday at Harare Sports Club.

Benjamin joins Takanyi Garanganga and Mehluli Sibanda, who booked their places in the second round on Monday when they won their opening matches.

The number one seed reached the second round with a 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-4 victory over Bushamuka of United States in a tightly-contested match.

Benjamin conceded it was a tough first round match but noted that it was a good start for him to have defeated Bushamuka as he showed plenty of resilience to stretch the match to the third set.

“These (first round) matches are great if you can win them because I expect to see this guy (Bushamuka) do very well in the next two tournaments,’’ he said.

‘’So to play a match like this and get through, really just brushes your game up. I am feeling super sharp now and it’s the best way to prepare for a tournament.

“Obviously, you would like an easier first round to get some momentum and some confidence but if you can win these kind of matches, that’s the best way to start a tournament.”

He later on teamed up with his young brother Courtney for the doubles and they triumphed 6-0, 3-6, 10-7 against Christian Paul and Joseph Imeh Ubon from Nigeria.

The pair of Mehluli Sibanda and Muzi Sibanda also remained on course when they beat Vasilios Caripi and Joshua Howard-Tripp 6-4, 3-6, 10-5.

However, it was a bad day for Mark Chigaazira, who had to retire from his match against eighth seed Sean Hodkin, after his arm gave him some problems.

Hodkin was leading 7-6(4), 5-7, 4-1.

“My arm got to a point where it gave in. I think I have really been trying quite hard to improve, so when I was training a few weeks before the tournament I started feeling a wrist injury.

‘’I think it has led to this although when I felt it I gave it time to recover,” said Chigaazira.

With two more tournaments yet to start, Chigaazira remains optimistic he will bounce back.

“There are still two more tournaments, I can still expect quite a good performance for myself. So I am trying to recover for that.’’

In today’s matches Benjamin has a date against Lance-Pierre Du Toit of South Africa while Mehluli is up against Milen Lanakiev from Germany.

Garanganga takes on Ubon of Nigeria.

In the doubles, it’s a siblings affair for Zimbabwe’s players with the Lock brothers facing Mehluli and Muzingaye Sibanda.

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