Brothers Benjamin and Courtney Lock came agonisingly close to scooping their first doubles title on the ATP Challenger Tour last week after they lost in straights sets in the final of the Open Castilla y León at the Villa de El Espinar in El Espinar, Segovia, Spain on Saturday.
The Spanish pair of Inaki Montes-DeLa Torre and Nicolas Alvarez Varona made use of their home advantage as they outlasted the Zimbabwean brothers after recording a 7 – 6 6 – 3 win to take the crown.
The Lock brothers needed two third-set tie breaks to reach their first finals on the ATP Challenger Tour but could not produce the same heroics in the final.
Benjamin and Courtney Lock had a fortuitous start to the tournament after they got a bye into the quarterfinal as their match against Dmitry Popko and Altuğ Çelikbilek failed to take off.
In the quarterfinals, they beat Denis Istomin from Uzbekistan and his Moldovan partner Alexander Cozbinov 6 – 4 4 – 6 10 – 6 while they also got the better of the Spanish pair of Alejandro Moro Canas and John Echeverria 5 – 7 7 – 5 10 – 7 in the penultimate stage.
Unlike his older brother Benjamin, who has won three doubles titles on the Challenger Tour before it was the first time that the 25-year-old Courtney reached the final at this stage.
“Special week making my first ATP Challenger Tour final. Tough match tonight, but we’ll be back! Benjamin Lock you the man, many more to come. Thank you to my friends and family who are constantly supporting me week in and week out! Never stop believing,” Courtney Lock celebrated the achievement on his Instagram handle on Saturday.
The two brothers have won nothing less than 16 titles together on the ITF World Tour (formerly ITF Futures Circuit) and will be hoping to make their mark on the more Challenger 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 main draw or qualifying draw entry at ATP Tour tournaments.
So far, the Lock Brothers have won three ITF World Tour titles so far this year following the return of Courtney from a lengthy period on the sidelines after a double hip surgery late last year.
The Lock brothers’ good form comes at a time when they are preparing in the Davis Cup Africa Group III in Algiers, Algeria.
The event is due to take place from August 10 to 13 with hosts Algeria, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe taking part.
The pair are part of a team which includes Mehluli Sibanda, Thabo Ncube and new captain Freeman Nyamunokora.