Alcaraz intensifying junior ace Searle’s appetite for Grand Slam glory

Carlos Alcaraz’s ‘stupid’ precocity is accelerating Henry Searle’s pursuit of Grand Slam glory.

The Wolverhampton player, 17, breezed into the quarter-finals of Junior Wimbledon with another straight sets triumph against Frenchman Arthur Gea.

Searle stunned No.1 seed Juan Carlos Prado Angelo over the weekend, Indian player Manas Dhamne on Tuesday before continuing his red-hot streak with a 6-4 6-2 win against Gea, 18, on Court 4 on Wednesday.

The Black Country talent has watched men’s world No.1 Alcaraz, 20, navigate his way to the Wimbledon quarter-finals after being crowned US Open champion at Flushing Meadows last year.

Searle says he’ll be rooting for the Spaniard in a potential final against Novak Djokovic and the fact he is just three years older is intensifying his desire to follow in his footsteps.

“I’ve been watching Alcaraz and Djokovic as much as I can – they’re two really strong competitors who I hope can be in the final competing against each other,” he said.

“It would be a good watch – I’d be rooting for Alcaraz in the final probably.

“It’s pretty stupid [Alcaraz is only 20] – it’s quite exciting to have that as a goal.

“That would be the goal, but I just want to work hard every day and see where that takes me.

“I’m not focusing too hard on outcome, but all about the input in training and what happens on court.

“It’s pretty cool to get another win – conditions were pretty tough once again but I managed and dealt with them quite well.

“It’s matches to build on and improve on – there’s still lots to work on but it’s going in the right direction at the minute.”

Searle has enjoyed a week to remember in SW19 after getting his campaign off to a flier against Bolivian Angelo, 18, on Sunday.

He pulled off a shock triumph against the top seed before easing past Dhamne on Tuesday then Gea 24 hours later.

Searle is also still standing in the boys’ doubles competition, where he is seeded eighth and competing later on Wednesday alongside Pole Tomasz Berkieta.

He’s enjoying fervent support down in the capital and hopes channelling his friends’ enthusiasm can continue his memorable run.

“There’s quite a big group of my mates down to support me – about 15, which is pretty cool,” he added.

“We’re quite a tight-knit group of people – they’re very supportive and it’s cool to have them down.

“I’m focusing on one match of a time, giving it my best and seeing where that takes me.”

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

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