Samir Banerjee, a 17-year-old Indian American won the junior Wimbledon crown on 11th July. This American Indian has a close affinity to Hyderabad. With this win, he has been making the headlines of major media houses. But how much do you know about Samir Banerjee? To answer all your questions about him, we bring you a special blog on Samir Banerjee and his journey towards becoming the new Wimbledon Junior Champion.
Samir Banerjee is a 17-year-old American Indian. He was born in 2003 and is a tennis player. He comes from a Bengali family. His father is from Assam and his mother is from Hyderabad. Samir Banerjee’s mother lived in Hyderabad and completed her schooling at St Ann’s High School and grew up in Tarnaka, Secunderabad. After her schooling, she emigrated to the United States for her higher education in the late 1980s. In the US she met and married Kunal Banerjee and the Banerjee family has been living in the US since the 1980s but has always stayed in touch with their Hyderabad roots. They make it a point to visit the city whenever they visit India. Samir took up tennis in his childhood and was very supported by his family.
In an interview, when his mother was asked about keeping in touch with the Indian culture, she said “Yes, I converse with him in Telugu so that he keeps in touch with the language. My mother also lives in the U.S. and whenever she visits, they speak a bit of Telugu with each other”
Samir will be joining Columbia University next year. He plans on pursuing political science or economics. However, this victory could be a deciding factor of certain changes in his higher studies plan. With this victory in his hand, Samir will have to decide if he wants to pursue the professional tennis tour or be a part of the U.S. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tennis circuit.
When his father was asked about Samir’s higher study plans, he said “We want him to do well in academics and then, if he plays really well, we will make a decision later on. But right now, based on his performance at the junior level, it is very difficult to say that he will be very successful at the senior circuit. That’s very tough, so we don’t want to take that decision now.”
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Journey as a Tennis Player
Samir Banerjee played tennis in India at the RK Khanna complex in Delhi and the Calcutta South Club. He began playing when he was six. But when turned 13, he started participating in other sports such as soccer and baseball. Soon after which he realized his passion for tennis and focused exclusively on tennis, as his results were quite promising. He gained success at the local, regional and national levels and won national championships in the US at the 14s and 16s levels. In mid-2019, he started playing on the ITF juniors circuit. He has been focused for the past couple of years on that.
In an interview with Times of India, when he was asked about his preparation for Men’s Grand Slams in the future, he said “ It’s a big step up from the junior circuit to the pro tour. I’ve to continue working hard and further develop my game. Shotmaking on the senior tour is at a totally different level. I have to attain that level and grow physically if I want to be successful on the pro tour. There are no guarantees but I will give it my best shot and see where it goes.”
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Interesting Facts About Samir Banerjee
- Samir Banerjee prepared for the Wimbledon Junior without any coach. The wife of his coach, Carlos Esteban, tested positive for Covid-19. In the absence of his coach, Samir was trained by his uncle, Kanad.
- Samir had earlier played in the French Open. However, he couldn’t win that one.
- Other Indian players who have won this prestigious title are –
- Yukti Bhambri – Australian Open, 2009
- Leander Paes – Wimbledon, 1990 and U.S. Open 1991
- Ramanathan Krishnan – French Open and Wimbledon, 1979
- Ramesh Krishnan – Wimbledon, 1954
So, this was all about Samir Banerjee, the new American=Indian Wimbledon champion. We hope this story inspires you to pursue your dreams no matter what may come as a hurdle on your way. This story definitely teaches us to keep our spirits high and give our best to our dreams because dreams do come true! If you found this to be inspiring and insightful and wish to read more such content, stay connected with Leverage Edu!