2021 Wimbledon: Indian-American Samir Banerjee wins boys' singles title
American tennis player Samir Banerjee, on Sunday, won his maiden Wimbledon boys' singles title with an emphatic win over compatriot Victor Lilov. Banerjee, who is of Indian origin, won 7-5, 6-3 in the final that lasted one hour and 22 minutes. Notably, Yuki Bhambri remains the last Indian to win a junior singles title when he clinched the 2009 Australian Open.
Samir Banerjee scripts history
'I couldn't believe', says Banerjee on his historic win
"I was saying 'are you kidding me'. I said it three or four times. I just couldn't believe it. I was in shock, and then that shock turned into happiness, and then I got excited. It just made me very happy," Banerjee told The Indian Express after the match. "There were a lot of Indians there, supporting me a lot. I really appreciated that."
Indians who have triumphed at junior Grand Slams
Only four Indian players have won junior Grand Slam titles (singles) - Yuki Bhambri (2009 Australian Open), Leander Paes (1990 Wimbledon and 1991 US Open), Ramesh Krishnan (1979 French Open and Wimbledon) and Ramanathan Krishnan (1954 Wimbledon).
How did the final pan out?
Both Banerjee and Lilov were all guns blazing in the first set. The former earned a break after the score was tied at 2-2. Although Banerjee had a 5-2 lead, Lilov reeled off three consecutive games to make it 5-5. Banerjee eventually won the first set 7-5. The second set remained one-sided, with Banerjee winning 6-3 in just 33 minutes.
A look at the stats
Banerjee registered a total of 78 points and 19 winners in the match. He also claimed 44% of the receiving points. Banerjee clinched 17 out of 19 net points, which remained a major talking point. Meanwhile, Lilov recorded 23 unforced errors.
Sriram Balaji praises the youngster
India Davis Cup player N Sriram Balaji, who had trained with Banerjee in Germany last month, acknowledged his ability to play at the net. "He likes coming up to the net, which is something unusual for young players who like to stay at the baseline. But he's got the mentality to back himself up at the net and that makes a difference," Balaji said.
Who is Samir Banerjee?
Samir Banerjee, born in 2004, is an American tennis player. Although he is a New Jersey resident, his parents are from Assam (father) and Andhra Pradesh (mother). Banerjee achieved a career-best ITF junior combined ranking of 19 in May 2021. He is set to attend college at the Columbia University, where he will study either economics or political science.