Good Sports: Junior Tennis Champ
Samir Banerjee, a 17-year-old from Basking Ridge, New Jersey, recently won the boys’ singles title at Wimbledon, becoming only the third tennis player of Indian origin to do so.
Ranked No. 19 in the world among juniors, Banerjee had lost in the first round at the French Open and went to Wimbledon with low expectations. “I really just wanted to win a round,” he told Wimbledon.com. He ended up winning six rounds, including a 7-5, 6-3 victory over fellow American Victor Lilov in the final.
Former Wimbledon junior champions Ramesh Krishnan (1979) and Leander Paes (1990) enjoyed long professional careers, but Banerjee isn’t ready to test those waters yet. He has committed to playing for Columbia University this fall.
“I think it’s a really good stepping stone,” he said. “Obviously, with Indian parents, they definitely want me to go to college . . . and I think it would be a good character-building kind of thing, because I’m not sure if I’m fully ready to go pro yet.”
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Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.
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