Vijay Amritraj

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Vijay Amritraj
Vijay Amritraj 72.jpg
Country (sports)  India
Born (1953-12-14) 14 December 1953 (age 61)
Madras, India
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Turned pro 1970
Retired 1993
Plays Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize money $1,331,913
Singles
Career record 390–302[1]
Career titles 16
Highest ranking No. 16 (7 July 1980)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 2R (1984)
French Open 3R (1974)
Wimbledon QF (1973, 1981)
US Open QF (1973, 1974)
Other tournaments
WCT Finals SF (1982)
Doubles
Career record 264–218
Career titles 13
Highest ranking No. 23 (24 March 1980)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Wimbledon SF (1976)
Team competitions
Davis Cup F (1974, 1987)
Last updated on: 13 June 2012.

Vijay Amritraj (born 14 December 1953) is a former tennis player from India, sports commentator and actor. He was awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honor in 1983.

Vijay Amritraj partnering Anand at Wimbledon

Early Life[edit]

Vijay was born in Chennai,[2] India to Maggie Dhairyam and Robert Amritraj.[3] He has two brothers, Anand Amritraj and Ashok Amritraj, who were also international tennis players. He did schooling in Chennai and later graduated from Loyola College, Chennai.

Career[edit]

After playing his first grand prix event in 1970, Amritraj achieved his first significant success in singles in 1973 when he reached the quarterfinals at two Grand Slam events. At Wimbledon, he lost in five sets to the eventual champion Jan Kodeš and later that summer at the US Open, lost to Ken Rosewall after having beaten Rod Laver two rounds earlier.

Amritraj beat Björn Borg in the second round in Forest Hills Open in 1974 before losing to Rosewall in quarterfinals. In 1979, he lost in the 2nd round of Wimbledon to defending champion Borg after being up two sets to one and leading 4–1 in the fourth set. He reached his career high ranking in singles of World No. 16 in July 1980. In 1981, he reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon before losing in five sets to Jimmy Connors after being up 2-0. He beat John McEnroe in the first round of Cincinnati Masters in 1984. Overall, he had five career wins over Jimmy Connors in their 11 matches.

Amritraj was part of the Indian Davis Cup team that reached the finals in 1974 and 1987. Amritraj had a career singles win-loss record 384–296, winning 16 singles and 13 doubles titles.

Acting career[edit]

Amritraj also had a brief acting career. His most notable appearance is probably as the MI6 agent Vijay in the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy.[4] He also appeared briefly in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home as a starship captain.

He was also a regular character in the NBC TV series The Last Precinct and the Yakov Smirnoff comedy What a Country, as well as a guest star on various television shows such as Hart to Hart. He has since gone on to become a sports commentator, has been a judge at the Miss Universe pageant and has developed a successful multimedia business. Amritraj is the host of a talk show named Dimensions with Vijay Amritraj telecast on CNN-IBN.

Personal life[edit]

Amritraj lives in California with wife Shyamala, who is Sri Lankan Tamil, and sons Prakash Amritraj and Vikram.[5][6][7] His son Prakash Amritraj and nephew Stephen Amritraj are also professional tennis players. On 9 February 2001, Vijay Amritraj was appointed a United Nations ambassador for peace. He has been raising awareness on the issues of drugs and HIV/AIDS and in raising funds to fight the spread of AIDS worldwide.[8] Vijay Amritraj founded The Vijay Amritraj Foundation in 2006.[9][10]

Career finals[edit]

Singles: 25 (18–7)[edit]

Legend (Singles)
Grand Slam (0)
Tennis Masters Cup (0)
ATP Masters Series (0)
ATP Tour (12)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1. 23 July 1973 United States Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA Clay United States Jimmy Connors 7–5, 2–6, 7–5
Runner-up 1. 20 August 1973 United States South Orange, New Jersey, USA Grass Australia Colin Dibley 4–6, 7–6, 4–6
Winner 2. 21 October 1973 India New Delhi, India Australia Mal Anderson 6–4, 5–7, 8–9, 6–3, 11–9
Runner-up 2. 27 March 1974 United States Tempe, Arizona, USA Hard United States Jimmy Connors 1–6, 2–6
Winner 3. 7 April 1974 United States Washington DC, USA Germany Karl Meiler 6–4, 6–3
Winner 4. 10 June 1974 United Kingdom Beckenham, England Grass United States Tom Gorman 6–7, 6–2, 6–4
Winner 5. 18 August 1975 United States Columbus, Ohio, USA Hard United States Robert Lutz 6–4, 7–5
Winner 6. 17 November 1975 India Calcutta, India Clay Spain Manuel Orantes 7–5, 6–3
Winner 7. 9 March 1976 United States Memphis, Tennessee, USA Carpet (i) United States Stan Smith 6–2, 0–6, 6–0
Winner 8. 16 September 1976 United States Newport, Rhode Island, USA Grass United States Brian Teacher 6–3, 4–6, 6–3, 6–1
Winner 9. 10 January 1977 New Zealand Auckland, New Zealand Grass United States Tim Wilkison 7–6, 5–7, 6–1, 6–2
Winner 10. 28 November 1977 India Bombay, India Clay United States Terry Moor 7–6, 6–4
Winner 11. 25 September 1978 Mexico Mexico City, Mexico Clay Mexico Raúl Ramírez 6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 3. 30 October 1978 West Germany Cologne, Germany Hard (i) Poland Wojtek Fibak 2–6, 1–0 ret.
Winner 12. 19 November 1979 India Bombay, India Clay Germany Peter Elter 6–1, 7–5
Runner-up 4. 19 February 1980 United States WCT Invitational, Maryland, USA Carpet (i) Sweden Björn Borg 5–7, 1–6, 3–6
Runner-up 5. 24 March 1980 Italy Milan, Italy Carpet (i) United States John McEnroe 2–6, 4–6
Winner 13. 7 July 1980 United States Newport, Rhode Island, USA Grass Zimbabwe Andrew Pattison 6–1, 5–7, 6–3
Winner 14. 17 November 1980 Thailand Bangkok, Thailand Carpet (i) United States Brian Teacher 6–3, 7–5
Runner-up 6. 9 December 1980 Canada WCT Challenge Cup, Canada Carpet (i) United States John McEnroe 1–6, 6–2, 1–6
Runner-up 7. 15 August 1983 United States Stowe, Vermont, USA Hard Australia John Fitzgerald 6–3, 2–6, 5–7
Winner 15. 14 May 1984 United States Spring, Texas, USA Hard (i) United States Leif Shiras 7–5, 4–6 7–6
Winner 16. 9 July 1984 United States Newport, Rhode Island, USA Grass United States Tim Mayotte 3–6, 6–4, 6–4
Winner 17. 16 June 1986 United Kingdom Bristol, England Grass France Henri Leconte 7–6, 1–6, 8–6
Winner 18. 15 August 1988 United States New Haven, Connecticut, USA Hard India Zeeshan Ali 6–3, 6–1

Doubles: 29 (14–15)[edit]

Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1. 21 October 1973 India New Delhi, India India Anand Amritraj United States Jim McManus
Mexico Raúl Ramírez
2–6, 4–6
Winner 1. 16 November 1974 India Bombay, India Clay India Anand Amritraj Australia Dick Crealy
New Zealand Onny Parun
6–4, 7–6
Runner-up 2. 19 August 1974 United States South Orange, New Jersey, USA Hard India Anand Amritraj United States Brian Gottfried
Mexico Raúl Ramírez
6–7, 7–6, 6–7
Winner 2. 19 August 1974 United States Columbus, Ohio, USA Hard India Anand Amritraj United States Tom Gorman
United States Robert Lutz
Runner-up 3. 10 February 1975 Canada Toronto, Canada Carpet (i) India Anand Amritraj United States Dick Stockton
United States Erik Van Dillen
4–6, 5–7, 1–6
Runner-up 4. 10 March 1975 United States Washington DC, USA Carpet (i) India Anand Amritraj United States Mike Estep
New Zealand Russell Simpson
6–75, 3–6
Winner 3. 24 March 1975 United States Atlanta, Georgia, USA Carpet (i) India Anand Amritraj United Kingdom Mark Cox
South Africa Cliff Drysdale
6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 5. 5 August 1975 United States Louisville, Kentucky, USA Clay India Anand Amritraj Poland Wojtek Fibak
Argentina Guillermo Vilas
Winner 4. 15 September 1975 United States Los Angeles, California, USA Hard India Anand Amritraj South Africa Cliff Drysdale
United States Marty Riessen
7–6, 4–6, 6–4
Runner-up 6. 17 November 1975 India Calcutta, India Clay India Anand Amritraj Spain Juan Gisbert
Spain Manuel Orantes
6–1, 4–6, 3–6
Winner 5. 9 March 1976 United States Memphis, Tennessee, USA Carpet (i) India Anand Amritraj United States Roscoe Tanner
United States Marty Riessen
6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 7. 14 March 1977 United States St. Louis, Missouri, USA Carpet (i) United States Dick Stockton Romania Ilie Năstase
Italy Adriano Panatta
4–6, 6–3, 6–76
Runner-up 8. 21 March 1977 Netherlands Rotterdam, Netherlands Carpet (i) United States Dick Stockton Poland Wojtek Fibak
Netherlands Tom Okker
4–6, 4–6
Winner 6. 4 May 1977 United States Masters Doubles WCT, New York, USA Carpet (i) United States Dick Stockton United States Vitas Gerulaitis
Italy Adriano Panatta
7–6, 7–6, 4–6, 6–3
Winner 7. 13 June 1977 United Kingdom Queen's Club, London, England Grass India Anand Amritraj United Kingdom David Lloyd
United Kingdom John Lloyd
6–1, 6–2
Winner 8. 25 September 1978 Mexico Mexico City, Mexico Clay India Anand Amritraj United States Fred McNair
Mexico Raúl Ramírez
6–4, 7–5
Runner-up 9. 9 April 1979 Egypt Cairo, Egypt Clay India Anand Amritraj Australia Peter McNamara
Australia Paul McNamee
5–7, 4–6
Runner-up 10. 23 July 1979 United States Louisville, Kentucky Hard Mexico Raúl Ramírez United States Marty Riessen
United States Sherwood Stewart
2–6, 6–1, 1–6
Runner-up 11. 15 October 1979 Australia Sydney, Australia Hard United States Pat Dupre Australia Rod Frawley
Paraguay Francisco González
Winner 9. 10 March 1980 Netherlands Rotterdam, Netherlands Carpet (i) United States Stan Smith United States Bill Scanlon
United States Brian Teacher
6–4, 6–3
Winner 10. 17 March 1980 West Germany Frankfurt, Germany Carpet (i) United States Stan Smith Zimbabwe Andrew Pattison
United States Butch Walts
6–7, 6–2, 6–2
Runner-up 12. 3 August 1981 United States Columbus, Ohio, USA Hard India Anand Amritraj United States Bruce Manson
United States Brian Teacher
1–6, 1–6
Runner-up 13. 1 November 1982 United States Baltimore, Maryland, USA Carpet (i) Australia Fred Stolle India Anand Amritraj
United States Tony Giammalva
5–7, 2–6
Winner 11. 30 November 1982 United States Chicago, Illinois, USA Carpet (i) India Anand Amritraj United States Mike Cahill
United States Bruce Manson
3–6, 6–3, 6–3
Winner 12. 21 February 1983 Kuwait Kuwait City, Kuwait Hard Romania Ilie Năstase Australia Broderick Dyke
Australia Rod Frawley
6–3, 3–6, 6–2
Winner 13. 4 July 1983 United States Newport, Rhode Island, USA Grass Australia John Fitzgerald United States Tim Gullikson
United States Tom Gullikson
6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 14. 1 August 1983 United States Columbus, Ohio, USA Hard Australia John Fitzgerald United States Scott Davis
United States Brian Teacher
1–6, 6–4, 6–7
Runner-up 15. 29 October 1984 Sweden Stockholm, Sweden Hard Romania Ilie Năstase France Henri Leconte
Czech Republic Tomáš Šmíd
6–3, 6–7, 4–6
Winner 14. 7 July 1986 United States Newport, Rhode Island, USA Grass United States Tim Wilkison South Africa Eddie Edwards
Paraguay Francisco González
4–6, 7–5, 7–6

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vijay Amritraj at the Association of Tennis Professionals
  2. ^ "Pride of Chennai - A list of people that make Chennai proud". Itz Chennai. January 2012. 
  3. ^ "At home on every turf". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 29 July 2004. 
  4. ^ "MI6 allies". Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  5. ^ Lidz, Franz (31 March 1986). "Tennis Player Vijay Amritraj Is As Fine on Film As He Is on the Court". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "Honeymoon over for Amritraj". The Southeast Missourian. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Amritrajs’ Big-Fat Wedding in Colombo". Fashion Scandal. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Messengers Of Peace". Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "The Vijay Amritraj Foundation". Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "Look To The Stars". Retrieved 13 July 2015. 

External links[edit]

Awards
First ATP Most Improved Player
1973
Succeeded by
Guillermo Vilas