NICEVILLE, Fla. – Redshirt junior Benjamin Lock teamed with former Seminole All-American Jean-Yves Aubone to win the Bluewater Bay Pro Circuit Championship Saturday in Niceville, Fla. It is the first Main Draw Futures victory for Lock and continues a run of success for current and former Seminoles on the professional circuit.
“This was my first time playing with [Jean-Yves],” said Lock, “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. He brought out the best in my game.”
Lock and Aubone were dealt a first-round matchup against the No. 2-seed of Hungarian Peter Nagy and Canadian Antoine Richard, beating the pair 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. Chaudry and Helliar beat Terrance and Terrell Whitehurst, incoming Florida State freshmen, in the first round, 7-5, 6-3.
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). Shane played the past four seasons at the University of Virginia, winning an ACC title each season with the Cavaliers. In the finals Friday evening, the Seminoles beat Randy Blanco of Cuba and Jun Nan Tao of China in convincing fashion, 6-1, 6-2.
“We’re pleased with Ben’s development,” head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “It’s great seeing him have success in these professional tournaments and in the Davis Cup.”
“[Saturday’s] win shows how all of Ben’s hard work and determination is really paying off,” associate coach Nick Crowell said. “This win should give Ben and the rest of our team a lot of confidence and momentum heading into the spring.”
The win was the 44th professional victory for a current or former Seminole in the past five seasons, a nod to the coaching and leadership taught by the Seminole coaching staff.
“My doubles play has improved tremendously under the coaches at Florida State,” said Lock. “Historically, we have had a lot of success in doubles and this continues to show that.”
For Lock, from Harare, Zimbabwe, his fall season began representing his home country in the Davis Cup in September. Playing in Group 3 in Cairo, Egypt, Zimbabwe went 4-0 and Lock went 4-1 combined in singles and doubles competition and helped Zimbabwe advance to Group 2 of the Europe/Africa Zone for the first time since 2006. In the final promotion playoff against Namibia, Lock beat Jacobus Serdyn, 6-0, 6-1. The Group 2 match against Bosnia & Herzegovina will be played in early March.
After returning from Africa, Lock played his first match for the Seminoles with doubles partner Marco Nunez at the ITA All-American Championship in Tulsa, Okla. The pair, ranked No. 10 in the preseason ITA rankings, beat No. 5-ranked Nick Chappell and Will Stein of TCU, 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 (10-8). At the USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, Lock and Nunez won the Doubles A draw and had their first round match broadcast worldwide on ESPN3.
He also played in last month’s Charlottesville Challenger and beat the Virginia Cavaliers’ JC Aragone in straight sets.
Lock enters the 2015 dual match season ranked the No. 79 singles player in the country. He plays next week in a Futures tournament in Pensacola, Fla.
Aubone, who played for head coach Dwayne Hultquist and the ‘Noles from 2006-2010, is the only Seminole named a two-time All-American, in 2008 and 2009. It was his fifth Futures doubles title in 2014 and 11th of the last two years. He also won a Futures singles event this year, his first since winning two while still at FSU in 2008.