- By Jess Anderson
- BBC Sport at Wimbledon
Wimbledon 2023 on BBC
Location: All England Club Day: July 3-16
Network coverage: Live on BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TV and mobile apps. More coverage details here.
Henry Searle ended his 61-year wait for the men’s singles champion at England’s Wimbledon with an overwhelming victory over Russian Yaroslav Demin.
The unseeded 17-year-old won 6-4 6-4 against a lively crowd at Court One.
Searle raised his hand towards his box as he sealed the trophy after Demin made a long forehand.
The England boys’ last champion here was Stanley Matthews – son and namesake of the former Blackpool and England footballer – in 1962.
A large number of fans wearing ‘Henry’s Barmy Army’ T-shirts sat in the stands, chanting and jumping with every point Searle won.
They watched his progress throughout the tournament, creating a frenetic atmosphere at all of his games and it was no different when Searle arrived at one of the Club’s performance pitches. All England.
Wolverhampton-born Searle, an avid Wolves fan, also received a text message from football club manager Julen Lopetegui during his final preparations and the youngster said that it’s “pretty cool” that his successes are recognized that way.
Cheered by the support of family and friends in the crowd, Searle was enthusiastic from the start and needed only one service break in the opening set to take the lead.
The teenager hasn’t dropped a set in this tournament and that doesn’t look likely to change as he broke the first game of the second set with a huge forehand.
From there things went smoothly as Searle brought in three game points, sealing the victory on the second when he delivered a powerful serve that fifth seed Demin could only score.
“It’s a pretty special feeling and it doesn’t come often and I’m going to try to enjoy it. Today was great in front of this crowd,” Searle said.
The backdrop of the victory and its implications for British tennis makes for an impressive read.
Searle is the 12th British player to win the men’s Grand Slam title and the first since Oliver Golding won the US Open in 2011. He is the first Briton to win the junior Wimbledon title since Laura Robson in 2008. and most impressively the first boy to lift the trophy in more than half a century.
He entered the tournament in 27th place in the base standings but will comfortably drop out of the top 10 after his best run at a Grand Slam, having previously reached the last eight at French Open.
Searle took the time to sign autographs for tennis balls, autographs and pose for photos with young fans before leaving the field, saying he will “do his best” to keep working hard and having perhaps one day repeat the success on an even bigger stage.
Searle hopes to recreate the greats of the past
Only four men’s singles champions went on to win men’s singles – Roger Federer, Bjorn Borg, Pat Cash and Stefan Edberg.
It’s an elite club that Searle will hope he can make his name into but for now, the win is a positive for British tennis, which has come under intense scrutiny in recent times.
With 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu injured, no British women competed in the main draw at this year’s French Open and 11 of the 14 senior players competed at SW19 based on the numbers. represent themselves because they are not ranked high enough to get in straight.
In the men’s under-14 singles, Mark Ceban won, who beat Slovenian Svit Suljic 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 before England’s Hollie Smart missed out on the women’s under-14 title. age with a score of 6-3 Lost 6-1 to Serb Luna Vujovic.
Then, Hannah Klugman and Isabelle Lacy missed out on becoming the first all-English pair to win the women’s doubles title at Wimbledon, losing 6-4 7-5 to Czechs Alena Kovackova and Laura Samsonova.