Indian-American Samir Banerjee Lifts Wimbledon Boys’ Title

Wimbledon: No one had heard of Samir Banerjee till two days ago. On Sunday, he made the world sit up and take notice.

The 17-year-old beat Victor Lilov 7-5, 6-3 to lift the prestigious Wimbledon boys’ singles trophy.

If only the teenaged Samir was Indian!

Well, he can at best be described as an American with Indian roots. His parents moved to the US in the 1990s, with Samir being born there in 2004. Samir’s father works in the finance sector in the US.

It was just his second junior Grand Slam tournament, having lost in the first round of French Open boys’ event. But he raised his level at the biggest tournament of the world to beat his fellow-American rival in straight sets.

Interestingly, both Samir and Victor were unseeded players.

New Jersey resident Samir will attend college next at the Columbia University, where he will pursue a degree in economics or political science.

The last Indian player to have won a singles junior Grand Slam title was Yuki Bhambri, the Australian Open in 2009. He joined the likes of Leander Paes (Wimbledon 1990 and US Open 1991), Ramesh Krishnan (French Open and Wimbledon 1979) and Ramanathan Krishnan (Wimbledon 1954) to have clinched junior singles in Grand Slam events.

India is still awaiting a Grand Slam singles winner at the senior level, though Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza have won multiple men’s and mixed doubles Grand Slam crowns.

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