Wimbledon 2023: Henry Searle is crowned the first British Boys’ singles champion for 61 years
• 4 MINUTE READ
Henry Searle has made history after being crowned the Junior Wimbledon Boys’ singles champion, following a 6-4, 6-4 victory over world No.7 Yaroslav Demin.
Searle – a 17-year-old from Wolverhampton - has become the first British boy since Stanley Matthew in 1962 to lift the Boys’ singles trophy in SW19 and even more impressively, did so without dropping a single set.
“It’s amazing to play on Court 1 in front of such a special crowd” Searle said in his on-court interview. “I managed to get the job done – it feels pretty good.
“It’s a special feeling and it’s not going to come too often so I’m going to try and enjoy it.
“I’d like to say thanks to my coaching team at Loughborough University, my mum, my brother and all of the Barmy Army here”.
By reaching the final, Searle joined the likes of Liam Broady and Jack Draper as the third Brit in 11 years to reach the final two of the tournament. Despite Broady and Draper finishing runners-up, they have both gone on to enjoy impressive careers so far at the top of the game.
When asked whether he’s ready for what is coming his way following the victory, Searle said, “I’ll definitely try and prepare myself for it, but I’ll keep working hard and we can see what happens”.
Road to the title
- First round: won vs Juan Carlos Prado Angelo (BOL, world No.2) 7-6(6), 6-3
- Second round: won vs Manas Dhamne (IND, world No.78) 6-1, 6-4
- Third round: won vs Arthur Gea (FRA, world No.20) 6-4, 6-2
- Quarter-final: won vs Joao Fonseca (BRA, world No.8, seeded No.8) 7-6(2), 6-3
- Semi-final: won vs Cooper Williams (USA, world No.4, seeded No.6) 7-6(4), 6-3
- Final: won vs Yaroslav Demin (world No.7) 6-4, 6-4
Stepping onto the biggest stage of his young career so far, the big-serving lefty continued to showcase his strength behind his serve from the off.
Despite both players giving away few points at the start of the contest, Searle withstood the pressure at 3-4 as he staved off three break points before clinching the game. That proved to be the turning point in the opening set, with the momentum shifting in favour of the Loughborough National Academy scholar who raced to a 40-0 lead on his opponent’s serve before securing the break with a firing backhand which Demin plummeted into the net.
Approaching the baseline to serve for the set, the Brit – who landed an impressive 75% of first serves in the opener – launched a 132mph serve out wide before smashing an inside out forehand into the corner of court to put himself just one set away from the title.
The world No.27 continued to move through the gears – getting off to the perfect start by securing a break to love on Demin’s opening service game in the second to give himself an early advantage.
Cheered on by a home crowd of spectators and an army of his friends and family, the home favourite from Wolverhampton showed no signs of nerves as he eased through his service games and given the opportunity to serve it out for the Championship.
Gifted with two Championship points, he served it out in true Searle-style with a thundering serve that Demin returned long to wrap up the title in one hour and 25 minutes and etch his name in the British tennis history books.