Samir Banerjee became the first Indian-American to win a Grand Slam boys’ singles title by defeating compatriot Viktor Lilov 7-5, 6-3 in the final of the Wimbledon Championships.
New Delhi. Samir Banerjee became the first Indian-American to win a Grand Slam boys’ singles title by defeating compatriot Viktor Lilov 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 21 minutes in the final of the Wimbledon Championships on Sunday. Indian-Americans such as Prakash Amritraj and his cousin Stephen Amritraj have played on the circuit and won a few titles, but Sameer is the first Indian-American to win a boys’ singles title at a Grand Slam. Four Indians- Ramanathan Krishnan, Ramesh Krishnan, Leander Paes and Yuki Bhambri have won the boys’ singles title in Grand Slam events.
The 17-year-old right-hander from New Jersey defeated Sasha 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-2 in a semi-final match in less than two hours. Sameer, who started playing tennis at the age of six, recently lost in the first round of the French Open. After the match Sameer said, ‘It was a wonderful experience. This is definitely the biggest crowd I’ve played in front of. And I think I had the support of the crowd for the most part, so it was an amazing experience, and then winning over that is something I’ll always remember.’
Although he has won the title of one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world, he still wants to go to college. Sameer said, “I think college will be a good character-building thing for me, because I am not sure if I am fully prepared to be a full-fledged professional, so for now, I am still I’m probably going to college.