Express & Star

Tennis club's pride at Wimbledon success of Wolverhampton's 17-year-old Henry Searle

The continuing success of a Black Country tennis star has been met with pride by the community club he plays for.

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Members of Wolverhampton Lawn Tennis and Squash Club celebrate the success of Wolverhampton's Henry Searle, who is doing exceptionally well at Wimbledon. Members celebrating include General manager Marc Hughes (second right standing) and Director of Tennis Steve Chilvers (far right standing).

Henry Searle has had the members of Wolverhampton Lawn Tennis and Squash Club on the edge of their seats since his first match in the Wimbledon Boys Singles on Sunday, where he beat the No.1 seed Juan Carlos Prado Angelo.

The 17-year-old has continued his winning run by getting to the quarter-finals of the competition, as well as progressing in the doubles competition and has been supported along the way by members of the club both at SW19 and at the club in Tettenhall.

Henry Searle in action

Marc Hughes, who general manager of the club, said his continuing success was helping to boost the profile of the club and bring in new members.

He said: "We do a lot of promotion for the club, but we often hear people saying that they don't know where we are as we're tucked away around Newbridge Crescent and unless you're looking for tennis or searching for sport, you might not come across us.

"When we have something like the success of Henry, it helps to bring the club in the spotlight as we are a not-for-profit club and we need members, so having Henry win at Wimbledon has focussed people's minds on where they can play tennis and where did Henry start his journey.

"One of the reasons Henry and other players like him have come here is because we've got the courts and we've got a supportive environment and a great coaching team."

Amber Fellows, who used to coach Henry when he was two years old, is pictured with daughter Lily and Sophia Navratil

Mr Hughes said that Henry's journey had started at the age of two at the club and said that while he was playing on the tour and getting a name doing that, he had never forgotten where he came from and would often come back to play for the club.

He said: "He's got a great club environment to come back to when he has a weekend off or is back in the country and when he comes back, he's so humble and joins in some of the junior performance sessions, just coming in to say hello and guide some of the players.

"We've got a lot of WhatsApp groups going at the moment and you can see the impression he has made on club members and the next generation of players.

"He's also about to turn pro, but he's still really happy to come back and represent the club and play in our local leagues and the national Premier League over the winter, so he's never forgot where he comes from.

"We're just really proud of him and we wish him all the best and will be following his progress both this week and throughout the coming years."