18-year-old Henry Searle edges top seed in Tallahassee

Henry Searle took down J.J. Wolf in two tight sets in the first round

by Jovica Ilic
18-year-old Henry Searle edges top seed in Tallahassee
© Stream screenshot

18-year-old Henry Searle made a winning start at the Tallahassee Challenger. The young Briton took down the top seed J.J. Wolf 7-5, 7-6 in two hours and 11 minutes on a green Har-Tru clay, notching his third Challenger victory.

Henry took 12 points more than J.J., defending all four break points and keeping the pressure on the other side. The home player stayed in touch after saving five out of six break points. Still, he suffered a late break in the opening set after missing his chances in the previous game and squandered a set point in the tie break of the second set, propelling a teenager through.

Both players made a reliable start behind the initial shot, barely losing points in the opening seven service games and wrapping them up in under 25 minutes!

Henry Searle, Tallahassee 2024© Stream screenshot

Wolf held at love in game six before Searle landed an ace in the next one for a 4-3 advantage.

The American missed a forehand in the eighth game, facing a break point and erasing it with a service winner. A left-handed Briton landed another powerful serve in the ninth game, moving 5-4 in front and keeping the pressure on the other side.

J.J. wasted a game point in the tenth game and sprayed an error to offer Henry a set point. A teenager missed it after a terrible backhand, allowing his rival to bring the game home and prolong the set. Searle landed a forehand long in the 11th game, offering Wolf his first break point.

The Briton denied it with a powerful serve, squandered a game point and netted a backhand to gift his rival the second break chance.

Henry Searle, Tallahassee 2024© Stream screenshot

Henry Searle delivered his career-best win in Tallahassee.

Henry saved it with a service winner and brought the game home after more deuces for a 6-5 lead and a boost.

J.J. served to stay in the set in game 12 and faced three set points after a backhand error. Wolf hit a loose forehand on the first, getting broken at love and handing the opener to Searle after 56 minutes. Henry denied two break points in the third game of the second set and earned two break chances in the next one after J.J.'

s forehand mistake. The home player denied them with good hitting and held with a service winner for 2-2. Searle moved 3-2 up with a powerful serve and grabbed the seventh game with another for 4-3.

Henry Searle, Tallahassee 2024© Stream screenshot

A left-hander produced another fine hold in game nine, landing an unreturned serve and moving 5-4 in front.

Wolf served to stay in the match in game ten and held after deuce to prolong the action. The American squandered a game point in game 12 and faced a match point after the Briton's forehand winner. A former top-40 player erased it with an ace and introduced a tie break.

Searle trailed 3-0 before taking charge, landing a forehand winner in the eighth point and moving 5-3 in front. Wolf responded with a return winner in the ninth point and forced the rival's mistake for 6-5 and a set point. Henry denied it with a service winner and created a match point with a forehand winner at 6-6. J.J. placed a forehand long, dropping the tie break 8-6 and propelling his rival over the top.