Wolverhampton wonderkid Henry Searle wants to emulate his local team’s Premier League resurgence after waltzing into the last 16 of Junior Wimbledon.
Avid Wolves fan Searle, 17, stunned No.1 seed Juan Carlos Prado Angelo in the first round of the boys’ singles on Sunday and followed it up with another straight sets triumph against Manas Dhamne 48 hours later.
Searle, who is also seeded eighth in the boys’ doubles alongside Pole Tomasz Berkieta, was a talented footballer growing up but having first taken to a court at the age of three, decided tennis was the sport to professionally pursue.
Life on tour means Searle was unable to follow Julen Lopetegui masterminding Wolves’ top-flight survival from Molineux but the Black Country star now hopes to channel that fighting spirit in SW19 this week.
Searle, who swatted aside Dhamne 6-1 6-4 in blustery conditions, said: “It’s pretty cool to win again.
“It was pretty tough conditions to deal with but I managed myself well and played well in the end.
“I’m just trying to improve little things in my game, take it match by match, focus on the physical aspects and just do the best I can.
“I try to go to Molineux much as possible when I’m at home but being on the road, it’s tough to get to as many home games as I’d like.
“I thought we were going to go down at Christmas because we were dead last – but Lopetegui has come in and done a great job.
“I’m just thinking about taking it day-by-day and match-by-match – performing as well as I can each match and seeing where it takes me.”
Searle has emerged as one of the stories of the junior draw at the All England Club after his memorable triumph over highly-rated Bolivian Angelo on Sunday.
The current world junior No.27 toppled Angelo, 18, 7-6(6) 6-3 to book a second round date with inexperienced Indian player Dhamne in difficult conditions on Tuesday.
But Searle navigated them with impressive ease as he emphatically seized the first set with a quickfire 6-1 triumph.
He delivered a similarly classy display in the second and despite the two players before forced off for rain when Searle had three match points, he held his nerve upon their return to book his place in the last 16.
Searle is based at the LTA’s National Academy in Loughborough alongside fellow junior star Mimi Xu, who grabbed a similarly stunning girls’ singles victory against sixth seed Kaitlin Quevedo on Monday.
And Searle added: “I train with Mimi at in Loughborough – we know each other well and we’ve both got similar mindsets, working as hard as possible and taking it match by match.
“We’re doing alright at the minute!”
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