BY SPORTS REPORTER
BROTHERS Benjamin Lock were denied their first ITF World Tennis Tour title of the season after losing to the Italian pair of Enrico Dalla Valle and Francesco Forti in a tightly contested final of the M15 Sharm El Sheikh tournament in Egypt yesterday.
The Zimbabwean siblings, who had a memorable season together in 2018, put up a spirited performance as they fought back from losing the first set in a tie break to send the match into a tie break.
The third-seeded Italians, however, held their nerve to deny the fourth-seeded Lock brothers after grinding out a 6-7(5) 7-6(5) [7-10] win in two hours and nine minutes.
Despite yesterday’s setback Benjamin (25) and Courtney (21) have proved themselves a formidable team since winning their first ITF Futures doubles title together in Maputo, Mozambique, three years ago.
Since then they have gone on to win seven doubles titles on the circuit together including five last season alone.
The Zimbabwean brothers were in irresistible form last season after partnering to win in Mozambique and Nigeria in addition to three successive titles during the Old Mutual-sponsored tournaments on home soil in June.
In total, Benjamin has 18 career doubles and five singles titles on the ITF World Tennis Tour since his maiden win in 2014, while Courtney has six doubles tournament victories.
The pair are expected to be part of the Zimbabwe Davis Cup team which will be hoping for another solid season this year after reaching the second round of the Europe/Africa Group II early this year.