Henry Searle makes history as first British Wimbledon Boys’ champion since 1962

Henry Searle makes history as first British Wimbledon Boys' champion since 1962

Britain´s Henry Searle is pictured as he plays against Russia´s Yaroslav Demin during their boys´ singles final tennis match on the last day of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 16, 2023.—AFP 

17-year-old Henry Searle from Wolverhampton achieved a significant milestone by winning the Wimbledon boys’ event, becoming the first British champion since Stanley Matthews Jr in 1962. Searle’s impressive performance saw him defeat Yaroslav Demin of Russia with a scoreline of 6-4, 6-4.

Thriving in the electric atmosphere of a packed No 1 Court, Searle showcased his skills, hitting nine aces and 22 winners en route to victory, which he achieved in a time of 1 hour and 24 minutes. 

Notably, he secured the title without dropping a set, joining the esteemed list of past winners that includes tennis legends Roger Federer, Björn Borg, Stefan Edberg, and Pat Cash, all of whom went on to win the men’s singles title.

Expressing his delight, Searle stated, “It’s a pretty special feeling. It’s not going to come too often, so I’m going to enjoy it. It was amazing being out on this court today.” Overcoming a breakdown, he rallied to win the first set and an early break in the second proved decisive, allowing the British player to claim victory on his first match point as Demin’s return landed just long.

As Searle prepares to embark on his professional career, expectations will undoubtedly be high. However, he maintains a level-headed approach, remarking, “I’ll definitely try and prepare myself for it. I’ll keep working hard, and we’ll see what happens.”

In other Wimbledon events, Britain’s Hannah Klugman and Isabelle Lacy could not replicate Searle’s success in the girls’ doubles final, as they were defeated 6-4, 7-5 by the pairing of Alena Kovackova and Laura Samsonova. Although the British duo staged a comeback from 5-2 down to level at 5-5 in the second set, they were unable to maintain their momentum, and the Czech team held on to clinch the title. 

The girls’ singles title was won by American player Clervie Ngounoue, who triumphed over Czech player Nikola Bartunkova with a commanding scoreline of 6-2, 6-2, securing her first junior grand slam title.

Meanwhile, wheelchair tennis player Alfie Hewett’s quest for a maiden singles title at Wimbledon continues as he suffered his third consecutive defeat in the final. The 17-year-old Tokito Oda of Japan emerged victorious with a score of 6-4, 6-2. 

On a brighter note for Britain, Mark Ceban triumphed in the boys’ under-14 category, defeating Svit Suljic with a scoreline of 7-6 (5), 6-3. However, Hollie Smart was unable to secure victory in the girls’ under-14s, as she was convincingly beaten by Luna Vujovic with a score of 6-3, 6-1.

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