Henry Searle, the first Brit to lift the Wimbledon boys’ title in 61 years, is going to have a big future.
He has a big platform to build from. You certainly see his game has got some weapons. He’s got a big game and is a lefty. Tim Henman
That’s the opinion of former home No.1 Tim Henman who made four semi-finals of the main All England event.
Henman said: “Has he got a big future? Definitely. He has a big platform to build from. You certainly see his game has got some weapons. He’s got a big game and is a lefty.
“To be out there on court No.1 and getting the job done is going to be a great confidence boost and motivating factor for him to keep working hard and be playing in the pros in the not too distant future.
“The achievement is brilliant. Not many in the British game have done it before.
“This is a huge moment for a British player if you are playing in the juniors or the main event. Looks like he’s got a good support group.”
Henman, talking on the BBC, added: “There’s a long journey ahead of him. We know there’s going to be bumps in the road, but we want to see these future British players (do well). It’s always important for every tournament to have your home stories and that’s another one from Wimbledon this year.”
A-level student Searle, based in Loughborough, was roared on by his own Barmy Army and family as he overcame Russian Yaroslav Demin 6-4, 6-4 – with serves up to 134mph – to seal the title in a tournament in which he did not drop a set.
The 6ft.4in football fan received a pre-final boost with Julen Lopetegui, manager of his beloved Wolves, and the club posted on social media after the victory: “What a performance Henry Searle. Congratulations from all The Pack.”
Searle said: “it’s a pretty special feeling. It’s not going to come too often so I’m going to try and enjoy it. It was amazing in front of the crowd. I’d like to say thanks to my coaching team at Loughborough University, my mum, my brother, all the Barmy Army.”
The previous British winner was Stanley Matthews Junior, son of the legendary footballer of the same name.