Zimbabwe’s top ranked men’s tennis player Benjamin Lock has been forced to withdraw from the Challenger Tour tournament in Playford, Australia after being hit on the head by a racket in a freak accident early this week.
Lock was taking a break from a warmup on the sidelines a practice court when out of nowhere, a racket came flying at him and hit him on the head.
The racket belonged to Australian player Li Tu of Australia, who lost control of his racket while returning a shot during a hitting session.
Lock shared the video of the incident on X (formerly Twitter) while confirming that he has been forced to withdraw from the event due to concussion.
No tennis this week ❌ Out with a concussion 🤕 Will be back in a few days ✌🏼 pic.twitter.com/gGgQ8vxg1w
— Benjamin Lock (@Benjamm1ng) October 24, 2023
After the incident Lock was visibly in pain and tightly held the spot where the racket had hit him.
Tu and other players and coaches quickly rushed to his assistance.
The Zimbabwean star was unfortunately forced to withdraw from the tournament altogether after the injury.
Lock was set to face Chak Lam Coleman Wong of Hong Kong in the first round of the Playford Challenger 2 on Wednesday.
He was later replaced by Ajeet Rai of New Zealand.
The Playford Challenger is a Category 75 tournament that awards $80,000 as prize money to the winner.
Lock has been a flag-bearer for Zimbabwean men’s tennis for several years now.
After turning professional in 2016, Lock has become a fixture on the Challenger and ITF circuits.
The 30-year-old has won 10 ITF singles titles and 35 ITF doubles titles.
On the Challenger Tour, Lock won his first doubles title at the 2020 Launceston International alongside partner Evan King of the US.
On the singles circuit, his first Challenger-level final came this year in July as he played the title contest at the Medellin Challenger in Colombia.
He lost in the final to Patrick Kypson of the US.
Lock, currently ranked number 231 in the world, made his ATP Tour debut at the 2023 Chengdu Open in China as a qualifier recently.
In his maiden tour match, he faced the number seven seed Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia, who convincingly won the contest 6-2, 6-3.
Lock also represents Zimbabwe at the Davis Cup and holds a win-loss record of 30-12.
He achieved his career-high ranking of world number 175 five years ago.