Abhijit Banerjee takes tennis 'lessons' from Mukerjea

Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee takes tennis 'lessons' from Jaidip Mukerjea

Nobel laureate and economist, Abhijit V Banerjee, playing tennis at a south club in Kolkata, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Nobel Prize winner in economics, Abhijit Banerjee on Tuesday took some time off from his schedule to take tennis lessons from city's great Jaidip Mukerjea here.

Less than 12 hours after he was given a life membership at the historic Calcutta South Club in a glittering evening, Banerjee who along with his wife Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer won the 2019 Economics Nobel, turned up around 8am in his all-black tracksuit with a racket in hand.

First, he warmed up with the former India Davis Cup captain, who then gave him some lessons on strokeplay as he was seen sweating out at the courts for about 45 minutes.

The 77-year-old Mukerjea was awe-inspired by the Nobel laureate's fitness.

"I coached him a little bit. He was playing against our Satyajeet Burman. I was helping him with strokes. He is not a professional player," Mukerjea told PTI.

"He is not an athlete as such. He's an intellect, a Nobel prize winner. But he runs well, he's very fit. He is very enthusiastic and loves tennis. An average player, he plays whenever he's in America.

"It was a big honour for me and the committee members to play with him. He's leaving tomorrow. He is a member now he will play whenever he comes. We would love to have him here," Mukerjea added.

Banerjee on Monday said tennis was the ultimate challenge for him and something that he hugely enjoys.

"I play tennis twice a week at least, and sometimes more. I'm often the least talented on court but most enthusiastic. I watch tennis a lot. My brother and I are real tennis addicts and talk a lot about the sport."