Wolverhampton's Henry Searle is looking forward to the prospect of playing at the Junior Wimbledon championships this summer, after he was crowned as 16 & Under Junior National Champion.
Searle, who is a season ticket holder and a passionate supporter of Premier League club Wolves, beat Welsh-born Viktor Frydrych 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the tournament staged at the LTA's National Tennis Centre.
The teenager’s success was another triumph for the LTA's National Academy at Loughborough, where he trains under Nick Cavaday and his respected coaching team.
All four winners of this year’s Junior National Championships in both the U16 and U18 events were LTA National Academy players from Loughborough, where they benefit from a high-intensity daily training environments with world class science and medicine support, working in partnership with a local school, to help them successfully develop into emerging tour professionals.
Now Searle will be handed a wild card into the Junior Wimbledon event at the All England Club this summer and he is relishing the prospect.
"I played pretty well in the final," said Searle. "I played Vik last week and lost, so I needed to come up with a different game plan this time. It worked well and now I can’t wait to play at Junior Wimbledon this summer. Winning this tournament has to be the best achievement of my career so far. Hopefully there is a lot more to come."
Searle likes to spend some of his spare time watching Wolves at Molineux and he has been impressed with the impact made by manager Bruno Lage this season.
"We are challenging for a place in the top six and have had some great results this season," added Searle. "I love going to watch Wolves and hopefully we can finish on a high in the next few weeks."
Meanwhile, Welsh teenager Mimi Xu beat Surrey's Hannah Klugman 6-3, 7-6 (5) to win the Girls' Singles Final in the 16U championship, completing an LTA Junior National Championships double after she won the 18U tournament a week before.
Xu, who is also working at the LTA National Academy in Loughborough secured her a place in the Junior Wimbledon championships this summer by winning the 16U event, backing up her win in the 18U Junior National Championships earlier this month.
She will now play in the Junior Wimbledon championship and will also have a shot at qualifying for the main draw in the senior Wimbledon event, with her win in the 18U event earning her entry into qualifying for the grass court Grand Slam event.
"It is amazing to think I could be playing at Wimbledon this summer," declared Xu. "I have a few weeks now to try and get ready for qualifying and the confidence I have from winning these two Junior National titles will help me.
"I am very proud to have won both of the Junior National events. I feel like I played the big points well in both tournaments and now I have so much to look forward to in the next few weeks."
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