Samir Banerjee on winning junior Wimbledon title: Great to put my name with the likes of Leander Paes

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Samir Banerjee became the third Indian to win the junior Wimbledon title at this year’s Championships in London after beating Victor Lilcv in the boys’ singles final on Sunday.

Samir Banerjee says he has visited India many times and even played tennis in Delhi (Instagram Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Samir Banerjee beat Victor Lilov 7-5, 6-3 in the boy’s singles final at Wimbledon 2021
  • Samir is the 3rd Indian after Ramanathan Krishnan, Ramesh Krishnan and Leander Paes to achieve the feat
  • Samir, who lives in New Jersey, will now take a break from the tour to apply at the at the Columbia University

Wimbledon junior champion Samir Banerjee is on cloud nine after winning the boys’ singles title at the prestigious tournament in London last week. Indian-American Banerjee etched his name in tennis history books after he beat compatriot Victor Lilov 7-5, 6-3 in the final clash at the All England Club on Sunday.

17-year-old Samir Banerjee became the first American in 6 years to win the junior Wimbledon championship and the first Indian since Yuki Bhambri to win a junior singles title in 12 years.

Samir Banerjee, who’s father Kunal hails from Assam and mother Usha from Andhra Pradesh, also joined an elite list of Indian players to win the Wimbledon junior singles title.

Ramanathan Krishnan was the first Indian to win a junior major when he won the 1954 junior Wimbledon championship, a feat which was repeated by his son Ramesh Krishnan in 1970 and Leander Paes in 1990. Ramesh Krishnan also won the junior French Open in 1970 while Paes lifted the US Open title in 1990.

Samir therefore, was visibly excited when asked about his experience of sharing the record with greats like Leander Paes.

“I really appreciated everyone in India who supported me throughout the tournament. I definitely have deep roots from India. My parents grew up in India. I have been to India so many times. I have played at the RK Khanna Tennis Stadium. I represent US but in a way India too.

“I started playing when I was 5 or 6. Playing at the weekends with my dad. I used to play baseball and soccer too, while growing up but tennis’ individual aspect attracted me to the sport. Winning and losing is depends upon me. I like the challenge this sports throws.

“Great to put my name with the likes of Leander Paes. I came to know that he has also won the boys singles title at the Wimbledon. Long run, I would love to compete in the pro tournament and hopefully win it,” Samir Banerjee told India Today’s Rajdeep Sardesai.

Samir Banerjee, who lives in New Jersey, will now take a break from the tour to enroll for a degree in either economics or political science at the Columbia University in the coming months.

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