May 19, 2024

Wimbledon 2023: Henry Searle could be fast-tracked into professional game after boys’ title

Henry Searle became Britain’s first Wimbledon junior champion since Laura Robson won the girls’ event in 2008

Wimbledon boys’ champion Henry Searle could be “accelerated” into senior competitions after his success at SW19, says one of Britain’s top coaches.

The win will push him into the top 10 of the world junior rankings.

“If you get top-10 then you get very quickly into some Challenger events – that’s a big boost for us,” said Searle coach Morgan Phillips.

“Junior tennis is a huge platform that goes into the men’s game,” said Phillips, head coach at the Lawn Tennis Association’s national academy in Loughborough.

“That’s what I’ve been working on for a number of years now – the transition from juniors to the men and making them understand the big journey ahead.

“So there will definitely be an element of him going into the lower tier of professional tennis.”

After his win, Searle said it would be “really special” if he achieved his goal of returning to Wimbledon as a future men’s singles player.

And the teenager – who hit a huge 134mph serve during his 6-4 6-4 final victory over the fifth seed Yaroslav Demin, and did not fall all tournament series – he believes ready to step up.

“I think the jump to the men’s game needs to be made a bit quicker – hopefully that can happen now,” he said.

“The plan is to still do my A-Levels. I don’t know how easy that will be, with all the travelling. But I’ll see what happens.”

‘Sky is the limit for Searle’

Searle’s rise to prominence was swift – a win at Wimbledon, including beating junior world number one Juan Carlos Prado Angelo in the first round, was just his third junior Grand Slam.

He lost in the first round at SW19 last year but reached the quarter-finals of this year’s French Open before losing to eventual champion Dino Prizmic.

“I never doubted his ability, especially after the French Open,” Phillips added.

“What we saw was very strong. The guy he lost in the quarter finals is going to be in the top 100 soon in my opinion.

“So, for me, Henry was the second best player in that tournament. I think that gave us a lot of confidence.”

Searle’s success is no surprise to his coaches and colleagues at Wolverhampton Lawn Tennis and Squash Club, where he grew up playing the game.

“I started playing with him at seven, eight – and right from the start you knew he was going to be something special, he was the one who was going to push forward,” said another club player Max Walker.

“He’s always been a mile above the rest of us. I know I’m a bit biased but I think he has that special factor that could take him to the next level, he’ll be able to make that leap from juniors to the next level. seniors.”

Max Thomson, junior co-ordinator at the Wolverhampton club, said Searle’s modest nature would stand him in good stead for the future.

“When he’s back home, he’s so happy to come to any of the sessions at the club and have a knock with any of the kids, help out – the kid’s just magical,” Thomson said. by BBC Radio WM.

“He’s such a nice guy – you couldn’t find a more humble person. But as a player he’s incredible. I think the sky’s the limit for him and obviously something has clicked within the next six to 12 months. “

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