Updated: July 11, 2021 7:48:22 pm
Indian-American tennis player Samir Banerjee, 17, has won the Wimbledon Boys’ singles title. He defeated Victor Lilov of the USA 7-5, 6-3 to win the title in the final, which lasted one hour and 22 minutes.
A future men’s champion?
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 11, 2021
At the junior French Open, Banerjee, ranked 19 in the world, had crashed out in the first round. India has been struggling to field a worthy contender at junior Grand Slams for some time now. Due to lack of a robust domestic circuit and not having enough competitions at home to earn world ranking points, India has been struggling to create the next crop of youngsters.
The last time an Indian player won a singles junior Grand Slam title was when Yuki Bhambri (2009 Australian Open). Before him, Leander Paes (Wimbledon 1990, US Open 1991), Ramesh Krishnan (French Open and Wimbledon 1979) and Ramanathan Krishnan (Wimbledon 1954) had won junior singles Majors.
This was the 17-year-old’s second appearance at a junior Grand Slam. Yet even though he’s reached a Grand Slam title match, the Basking Ridge, New Jersey resident will leave the tour briefly to attend college at the Columbia University – where he will pursue a degree in either economics or political science.
“I really just wanted to win a round.”
American Samir Banerjee, who defeats compatriot Victor Lilov 7-5, 6-3 to win the Boys’ Singles title. pic.twitter.com/bMayivLVL0
— TennisNow (@Tennis_Now) July 11, 2021
His father Kunal explained to The Indian Express on Saturday the decision to follow what has been a stereotype for Indian parents encouraging their children to follow academic pursuits.
“We’re not any different, we want him to do well in his academics,” says Banerjee, who works in finance in the United States.
“He’s a solid student. For him it was always important to go to a good academic institution as well as tennis. There are many colleges here that have a good tennis program, but we wanted a combination of strong tennis and academics. Of the prestigious Ivy League colleges, Columbia is the best at tennis.”
Some of the other tennis superstars to have won this boys’ singles title include Stefan Edberg, Roger Federer and Gael Monfils.
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