Aug. 2, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Incoming freshman Benjamin Lock, who signed his Grant-in-Aid in the spring, competed in the 2011 Davis Cup for Zimbabwe July 6-9. Lock is Africa’s second ranked junior player and finished the round robin play with a 4-1 record.
“It was a great honor to represent my country,” said Lock. “My father also played in the Davis Cup so it was kind of special. Playing in a world event was a great experience.”
Lock started off strong against Kenya and posted a 2-0 record. He lost a total of three games in that match. He and partner Mark Flynn went 6-0, 6-1 in doubles while Lock went 6-1, 6-1 in his singles match.
“I played my best tennis of the year at the Davis Cup and maybe that’s why I won those matches,” Lock added. “The coach and teammates were really encouraging and they really made me raise my level. I enjoyed playing in the atmosphere with the crowd. I think it brought out the best in me. When I won my first match I was so happy and I guess things just went my way from there on.”
Against Ghana, Lock and Flynn won in two sets in doubles 6-2, 7-5 and then won again in two sets (6-2, 6-2) against Algeria. Lock lost his only match of the tournament against Egypt. He finished the tournament a perfect 3-0 in doubles and with a 1-1 mark in singles.
“It was a great experience being part of a team and knowing that you are playing for others and not just yourself,” continued Lock. “I think that’s why I was so pumped up, I loved the team environment and I got a taste of team tennis so I am very excited for college tennis in the spring.”
The format is a round-robin with ten nations in two pools. The top nation in each pool plays off against the runner-up in the other pool, with two winning nations promoted to Europe/Africa Group II for 2012. Zimbabwe came one position short of the promotion spots finishing third in the Africa Group III Round Robin in Cairo.
Davis Cup Group III Africa – Group B Round Robin
Smash Tennis Academy – Cairo
Zimbabwe vs. Egypt – July 9
Sherif Sabry (EGY) d. Benjamin Lock (ZIM) 6-0, 6-3
Zimbabwe vs. Algeria – July 8
Lock/Mark Flynn (ZIM) d. Mohamed Amine Kerroum/Mohamed-Redha Ouahab (ALG) 6-2, 6-3
Zimbabwe vs. Ghana – July 7
Lock/Mark Flynn (ZIM) d. Emmanuel Mensah/Robert Kpodo (GHANA) 6-2, 7-5
Zimbabwe vs. Kenya – July 6
Lock (ZIM) d. Gilbert Kibet (KENYA) 6-1, 6-1
Lock/Flynn (ZIM) d. Dennis Ochieng/Ismael Ruwa (KENYA) 6-0, 6-1