BY the end of the month Zimbabwe tennis ace Courtney Lock will be a Bachelor of Science in Business Finance graduate.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
But the talented tennis player may have to shove the certificate somewhere safe for the meantime as he intends to pursue professional tennis full-time soon after graduation.
Lock has been playing US collegiate tennis for the past four years, first at the University of Louisville in Kentucky before winding up at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
The 21-year-old rising star finished his final year at college with a flourish after he was named in the Mountain West All-Conference team in both singles and doubles last week.
It has been a successful season in which he led the University of Nevada Las Vegas men’s tennis team to the semifinals of the Mountain West Tennis Championship.
“I was both honoured and thrilled to be named to the All-Conference team for both singles and doubles. It was one of my main goals for this season and I put in a lot of hard work this past year, so it’s a very rewarding feeling,” Lock told The Sports Hub from his US base.
Lock said his target was now to join the professional tennis circuit.
“My college experience has been one hell of a ride. A lot of ups and downs over the last four years, but I have grown a lot as a tennis player as well as a person. I will be turning pro this month when I graduate. I plan to start playing the professional circuits in Africa and Asia for the first few months and work my way up,” Lock said.
The Davis Cup star’s decision to turn professional will see him joining his older brother Benjamin, who also enjoyed a successful college career in the US at Florida State University before making the leap to the paid ranks.
Earlier in the year, Lock had an opportunity to train with Serbian icon and favourite player Novak Djokovic along with his equally famous coaching staff comprising of eight-time gram slam winner American Andre Agassi and former top-10 player Radek Stepanek from Czech Republic.
Lock reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of 1 571 and 590 in doubles and boasts of two doubles titles on the ITF professional circuit playing alongside his older brother Benjamin.
A key member of the Zimbabwe Davis Cup team, Lock missed the country’s two ties against Turkey and Poland in February and April due to college commitments.
“It was obviously very hard to miss the last two Davis cup ties. Davis Cup is without doubt my favourite week of the year, but my team and coaches needed me here in Las Vegas as we had a lot of crucial college matches over those particular two weekends. It was my last season of college so I think Gwinyai Tongoona (the Davis Cup coach) and the guys understood that I needed to be here. However, I look forward now to catching up on all the ties I have missed and representing the country in future,” he said.