Searle confident after going toe-to-toe on Wimbledon debut

Henry Searle came away from his senior Wimbledon debut brimming with confidence despite a first-round exit.

Last year’s Wimbledon boys’ winner received a wildcard for this year’s men’s singles main draw and the special memories of his SW19 whirlwind came flooding back for the teenager.

The 18-year-old went toe-to-toe with top 50 American Marcos Giron, taking the first set in an engaging encounter before eventually bowing out in the fourth, 3-6 6-3 6-4 6-4.

It is out but not down for Wolverhampton’s Searle, who is taking every experience he can get on his way to the upper echelons of British tennis.

He said: “I gave everything I had, but I didn’t quite have enough to get the win.

“It gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season and knowing that you can compete with guys at that level, it gives you a lot of inspiration for the rest of the season and also the years after as well.

“It was amazing to be back this year and playing in the men’s as well, just incredible.

“It’s the goal to obviously play here every year, it’s an amazing tournament.

“I’m going to keep working and keep improving as much as possible, and hopefully I’ll be back next year.”

“Working with my team, working on myself and being the best person I can be”

Searle is on the LTA’s Pro Scholarship Programme presented by Lexus, the highest level of support for developing players aged 16-24, designed to help them crack the Top 100.

And his 2024 Wimbledon journey is not over yet, with a doubles tie alongside fellow Midlands ace Dan Evans, 34, set up for later in the week.

The youth and experience pairing will face Santiago González and Édouard Roger-Vasselin and Searle was still dreaming of his support on Court 10 from Newbridge Tennis Club on his first senior Grand Slam bout.

He added: “It’s great to have that sort of support, not many other players have that.

“I’m very lucky to have such a great group of family and friends, it’s amazing.”

For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website

Image: Reuters via Beat Media Group subscription

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