Lock brothers fall at final hurdle in Ecuador Challenger

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Benjamin (left) and Courtney Lock in action in the Ambato La Gran Ciudad ATP Challenger doubles final in Ecuador on Saturday

Zimbabwe’s top-ranked professional tennis player Benjamin Lock and his brother Courtney missed out on a first doubles title on the ATP Challenger Tour together when they lost in the final of the  Ambato La Gran Ciudad ATP Challenger in Ecuador on Saturday.

The Lock brothers lost 7-6, 6-3 in one hour and 34 minutes to the Argentinian pair of Rodriguez Taverna and Thiago Tirante in the final which was played in the midday sun and at an altitude of 2,500 metres on clay at the Club Tungurahua.

By winning their first team title, Taverna and Tirante split $3,100 in prize money and earned 80 ATP doubles ranking points.

Despite missing out on what would have been their first doubles title together on the ATP Challenger Tour, it was still a very successful week for the Zimbabwean pair, who have won multiple titles on the ITF World Tennis Tour.

The impressive run to the final is the perfect confidence boost for both Benjamin and Courtney who are playing a full schedule on the ATP Challenger Tour to finish the season in December.

Last month Benjamin claimed his career fourth doubles title on the ATP Challenger Tour after combining with Yuta Shimizu of Japan to win the Bangkok Open final in Nonthaburi, Thailand.

It was the fourth ATP Challenger Tour title for Lock, who has multiple doubles titles on the lower rung International Tennis Federation (ITF) Men’s World Tennis Tour.

The ATP Challenger Tour is the second-highest tier of tennis competition for men behind the lucrative ATP Tour and is a platform for players to earn ranking points to become eligible for the main draw or qualifying draw entry at ATP Tour tournaments.

The Lock brothers helped Zimbabwe secure promotion back to the Davis Cup World Group II Play-offs when beating Namibia 2-1 in a promotional play-off at the Africa Group III event in Algiers, Algeria IN August.

Zimbabwe was recently drawn to face South American opposition Uruguay at home in the playoffs for the 2023 Davis Cup World Group II to be played in February next year.

 

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