Indian-American tennis player Samir Banerjee lifted the Wimbledon boys’ singles title on Sunday, a remarkable triumph for the youngster who was testing his skills in a Grand Slam for only the second time in his fledgling career.
All of 17, the boy from New Jersey just wanted to win a match at the biggest stage in the junior circuit, but little did he know that he would be the last boy standing at the hallowed grass courts.
Up against compatriot Victor Lilov, the teenager won 7-5, 6-3 in the summit clash that lasted one hour 22 minutes. He broke his rival thrice and dropped serve only once in a facile win.
“I came into this tournament looking to win a round and trying to play well because I knew I was playing well before this,” he was quoted as saying by itftennis.com.
“I didn’t really know how I would do on grass so I wanted to come in and give it my best. It’s amazing that I have been able to play this well.”
As Lilov’s backhand sailed over the baseline on match-point, Banerjee dropped his racquet, put both his hands on his head in disbelief as if to say that this was not what he expected to do but still accomplished.
“Remember the name – Samir Banerjee. The American wins his first junior Grand Slam singles title by beating Victor Lilov in the boys’ singles final,” the official twitter handle of the Championships posted.
Legendary Indian tennis player Vijay Amritraj congratulated Banerjee.
“Wonderful win for Indian American 17 yr old Samir Bannerjee in the boys singles at Wimbledon 2021. Wish him well for a great future,” the 67-year-old who reached singles quarterfinals at Wimbledon and US Open tweeted.
Banerjee’s father was born in Assam, and his mother was brought up in Andhra Pradesh before both migrated to the USA in the mid-1980s and got married here.
The youngster, reportedly, will take a break from the tour to enroll for a degree in either economics or political science at Columbia University in the coming months.