American tennis player of Indian-origin Samir Banerjee on Sunday lifted the Wimbledon boys singles title with a straight-set win over compatriot Victor Lilov. Playing only his second junior Grand Slam, the 17-year-old won 7-5, 6-3 in the final that lasted one hour 22 minutes.
Due to the lack of a robust domestic circuit and not having enough competitions at home to earn world ranking points, India has been struggling to create the next crop of youngsters. Yuki Bhambri was the last Indian to win a junior singles title when he triumphed at the Australian Open in 2009 while Sumit Nagal won the Wimbledon boy’s doubles in 2015 with Vietnam’s Ly Hoang Nam.
Samir’s roots trace back to Assam. His father Kunal Banerjee is a financial consultant in the US but originally hails from Assam and his mother from Andhra Pradesh. Samir’s grandfather, Hiranmay Banerjee, was a resident of Assam and served as the General Manager at Oil India Limited (OIL), which has its headquarters at Duliajan in Assam’s Dibrugarh district. Later in the late 80s, Samir Banerjee’s parents – Kunal Banerjee and Usha – shifted to the United States.