Vijay Amritraj

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Vijay Amritraj
Vijay Amritraj 72.jpg
Country (sports) India
Born (1953-12-14) 14 December 1953 (age 65)
Madras, India
Height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Turned pro1970
Retired1993
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize money$1,331,913
Singles
Career record392–306[1]
Career titles18
Highest rankingNo. 16 (7 July 1980)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open2R (1984)
French Open3R (1974)
WimbledonQF (1973, 1981)
US OpenQF (1973, 1974)
Other tournaments
WCT FinalsSF (1982)
Doubles
Career record264–218
Career titles14
Highest rankingNo. 23 (24 March 1980)
Grand Slam Doubles results
WimbledonSF (1976)
US OpenQF (1973, 1976)
Team competitions
Davis CupF (1974, 1987)

Vijay Amritraj (born 14 December 1953) is a former tennis player, sports commentator and occassional actor from India.[2][3][4][5][6] He was awarded the Padma Shri, India's 4th highest civilian honour, in 1983.[7]

Vijay Amritraj partnering brother Anand at 2000 Wimbledon Championships

Early life[edit]

Vijay was born in Chennai,[8] India to Maggie Dhairyam and Robert Amritraj.[9][10] He has two brothers, Anand Amritraj and Ashok Amritraj, who were also international tennis players.[11] He did his schooling from Don Bosco and graduated from Loyola College in Madras.

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 the US Open in 1974 before losing to Rosewall in quarter-finals. 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 intelligence operative Vijay in the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy.[12] He also appeared briefly in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) 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.[13][14][15]

His son Prakash and nephew Stephen Amritraj are also professional tennis players. On 9 February 2001, Vijay was appointed a United Nations ambassador for peace. He has been raising awareness on the issues of drugs and HIV/AIDS and has raised funds to fight the spread of AIDS worldwide.[16] Vijay Amritraj founded The Vijay Amritraj Foundation in 2006.[17][18]

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1983 Octopussy Vijay
1985 Nine Deaths of the Ninja Rankin
1986 Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home Starship Captain Joel Randolph
2015 Of God and Kings Duke Bora Swain

Career finals[edit]

Singles: 25 (18–7)[edit]

Legend (Singles)
Grand Slam (0)
Tennis Masters Cup (0)
ATP Masters Series (0)
ATP Tour (12)
Result W/L Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Win 1–0 Jul 1973 Bretton Woods, U.S. Clay United States Jimmy Connors 7–5, 2–6, 7–5
Loss 1–1 Aug 1973 South Orange, U.S. Grass Australia Colin Dibley 4–6, 7–6, 4–6
Win 2–1 Oct 1973 New Delhi, India Grass Australia Mal Anderson 6–4, 5–7, 8–9, 6–3, 11–9
Loss 2–2 Mar 1974 Tempe, Arizona, U.S. Hard United States Jimmy Connors 1–6, 2–6
Win 3–2 Apr 1974 Washington DC, U.S. Carpet West Germany Karl Meiler 6–4, 6–3
Win 4–2 Jun 1974 Beckenham, England Grass United States Tom Gorman 6–7, 6–2, 6–4
Win 5–2 Aug 1975 Colunbus, U.S. Hard United States Robert Lutz 6–4, 7–5
Win 6–2 Nov 1975 Calcutta, India Clay Spain Manuel Orantes 7–5, 6–3
Win 7–2 Mar 1976 Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. Carpet (i) United States Stan Smith 6–2, 0–6, 6–0
Win 8–2 Sep 1976 Newport, Rhode Island, U.S. Grass United States Brian Teacher 6–3, 4–6, 6–3, 6–1
Win 9–2 Jan 1977 Auckland, New Zealand Grass United States Tim Wilkison 7–6, 5–7, 6–1, 6–2
Win 10–2 Nov 1977 Bombay, India Clay United States Terry Moor 7–6, 6–4
Win 11–2 Sep 1978 Mexico City, Mexico Clay Mexico Raúl Ramírez 6–4, 6–4
Loss 11–3 Oct 1978 Cologne, Germany Hard (i) Poland Wojtek Fibak 2–6, 1–0 ret.
Win 12–3 Nov 1979 Bombay, India Clay West Germany Peter Elter 6–1, 7–5
Loss 12–4 Feb 1980 WCT Invitational, U.S. Carpet (i) Sweden Björn Borg 5–7, 1–6, 3–6
Loss 12–5 Mar 1980 Milan, Italy Carpet (i) United States John McEnroe 2–6, 4–6
Win 13–5 Jul 1980 Newport, Rhode Island, U.S. Grass Zimbabwe Andrew Pattison 6–1, 5–7, 6–3
Win 14–5 Nov 1980 Bangkok, Thailand Carpet (i) United States Brian Teacher 6–3, 7–5
Loss 14–6 Dec 1980 WCT Challenge Cup, Canada Carpet (i) United States John McEnroe 1–6, 6–2, 1–6
Loss 14–7 Aug 1983 Stowe, Vermont, U.S. Hard Australia John Fitzgerald 6–3, 2–6, 5–7
Win 15–7 May 1984 Spring, Texas, U.S. Hard (i) United States Leif Shiras 7–5, 4–6 7–6
Win 16–7 Jul 1984 Newport, Rhode Island, U.S. Grass United States Tim Mayotte 3–6, 6–4, 6–4
Win 17–7 Jun 1986 Bristol, England Grass France Henri Leconte 7–6, 1–6, 8–6
Win 18–7 Aug 1988 New Haven, U.S. Hard India Zeeshan Ali 6–3, 6–1

Doubles: 29 (14–15)[edit]

Result W/L Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 0–1 Oct 1973 New Delhi, India India Anand Amritraj United States Jim McManus
Mexico Raúl Ramírez
2–6, 4–6
Win 1–1 Nov 1974 Bombay, India Clay India Anand Amritraj Australia Dick Crealy
New Zealand Onny Parun
6–4, 7–6
Loss 1–2 Aug 1974 South Orange, U.S. Hard India Anand Amritraj United States Brian Gottfried
Mexico Raúl Ramírez
6–7, 7–6, 6–7
Win 2–2 Aug 1974 Columbus, Ohio, U.S. Hard India Anand Amritraj United States Tom Gorman
United States Robert Lutz
Loss 2–3 Feb 1975 Toronto, Canada Carpet (i) India Anand Amritraj United States Dick Stockton
United States Erik van Dillen
4–6, 5–7, 1–6
Loss 2–4 Mar 1975 Washington DC, U.S. Carpet (i) India Anand Amritraj United States Mike Estep
New Zealand Russell Simpson
6–75, 3–6
Win 3–4 Mar 1975 Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. Carpet (i) India Anand Amritraj United Kingdom Mark Cox
South Africa Cliff Drysdale
6–3, 6–2
Loss 3–5 Aug 1975 Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. Clay India Anand Amritraj Poland Wojtek Fibak
Argentina Guillermo Vilas
Win 4–5 Sep 1975 Los Angeles, California, U.S. Hard India Anand Amritraj South Africa Cliff Drysdale
United States Marty Riessen
7–6, 4–6, 6–4
Loss 4–6 Nov 1975 Calcutta, India Clay India Anand Amritraj Spain Juan Gisbert
Spain Manuel Orantes
6–1, 4–6, 3–6
Win 5–6 Mar 1976 Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. Carpet (i) India Anand Amritraj United States Roscoe Tanner
United States Marty Riessen
6–3, 6–4
Loss 5–7 Mar 1977 St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. Carpet (i) United States Dick Stockton Romania Ilie Năstase
Italy Adriano Panatta
4–6, 6–3, 6–76
Loss 5–8 Mar 1977 Rotterdam, Netherlands Carpet (i) United States Dick Stockton Poland Wojtek Fibak
Netherlands Tom Okker
4–6, 4–6
Win 6–8 May 1977 Masters Doubles WCT, U.S. Carpet (i) United States Dick Stockton United States Vitas Gerulaitis
Italy Adriano Panatta
7–6, 7–6, 4–6, 6–3
Win 7–8 Jun 1977 London, England Grass India Anand Amritraj United Kingdom David Lloyd
United Kingdom John Lloyd
6–1, 6–2
Win 8–8 Sep 1978 Mexico City, Mexico Clay India Anand Amritraj United States Fred McNair
Mexico Raúl Ramírez
6–4, 7–5
Loss 8–9 Apr 1979 Cairo, Egypt Clay India Anand Amritraj Australia Peter McNamara
Australia Paul McNamee
5–7, 4–6
Loss 8–10 Jul 1979 Louisville, Kentucky Hard Mexico Raúl Ramírez United States Marty Riessen
United States Sherwood Stewart
2–6, 6–1, 1–6
Loss 8–11 Oct 1979 Sydney, Australia Hard United States Pat Dupre Australia Rod Frawley
Paraguay Francisco González
Win 9–11 Mar 1980 Rotterdam, Netherlands Carpet (i) United States Stan Smith United States Bill Scanlon
United States Brian Teacher
6–4, 6–3
Win 10–11 Mar 1980 Frankfurt, Germany Carpet (i) United States Stan Smith Zimbabwe Andrew Pattison
United States Butch Walts
6–7, 6–2, 6–2
Loss 10–12 Aug 1981 Columbus, Ohio, U.S. Hard India Anand Amritraj United States Bruce Manson
United States Brian Teacher
1–6, 1–6
Loss 10–13 Nov 1982 Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. Carpet (i) Australia Fred Stolle India Anand Amritraj
United States Tony Giammalva
5–7, 2–6
Win 11–13 Nov 1982 Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Carpet (i) India Anand Amritraj United States Mike Cahill
United States Bruce Manson
3–6, 6–3, 6–3
Win 12–13 Feb 1983 Kuwait City, Kuwait Hard Romania Ilie Năstase Australia Broderick Dyke
Australia Rod Frawley
6–3, 3–6, 6–2
Win 13–13 Jul 1983 Newport, Rhode Island, U.S. Grass Australia John Fitzgerald United States Tim Gullikson
United States Tom Gullikson
6–3, 6–4
Loss 13–14 Aug 1983 Columbus, U.S. Hard Australia John Fitzgerald United States Scott Davis
United States Brian Teacher
1–6, 6–4, 6–7
Loss 13–15 Oct 1984 Stockholm, Sweden Hard Romania Ilie Năstase France Henri Leconte
Czechoslovakia Tomáš Šmíd
6–3, 6–7, 4–6
Win 14–15 Jul 1986 Newport, U.S. Grass United States Tim Wilkison South Africa Eddie Edwards
Paraguay Francisco González
4–6, 7–5, 7–6

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vijay Amritraj Archived 5 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine at the Association of Tennis Professionals
  2. ^ "From James Bond cameo to biopic on his extraordinary life: tennis legend Vijay Amritraj to serve up another smash hit". Andrew McNicol. South China Morning Post. 11 May 2018. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Tennis legend Vijay Amritraj biopic in works". New Indian Express. 17 September 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  4. ^ "The man that brought you CTL: 6 reasons Vijay Amritraj is India's hero". Sportskeeda. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Sports champions say a big thank you to Mahindra Scorpio TOISA". Dhananjay Roy. The Times of India. 28 February 2018. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  6. ^ "TENNIS DIPLOMAT : Vijay Amritraj Helps Pave the Way for Israel's Davis Cup Team to Play in India Despite Terrorist Threats". Lisa Dillman. Los Angeles Times. 2 August 1987. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2014)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs (India). 21 May 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Pride of Chennai - A list of people that make Chennai proud". Itz Chennai. January 2012. Archived from the original on 8 November 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  9. ^ "At home on every turf". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 29 July 2004.
  10. ^ "Maggie Amritraj passes away at 92". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Mother of Amritraj brothers, Maggie, dies at 92". The Times of India. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  12. ^ "MI6 allies". Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ "Honeymoon over for Amritraj". The Southeast Missourian. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  15. ^ "Amritrajs' Big-Fat Wedding in Colombo". Fashion Scandal. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  16. ^ "Messengers Of Peace". Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  17. ^ "The Vijay Amritraj Foundation". Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  18. ^ "Look To The Stars". Retrieved 13 July 2015.

External links[edit]

Awards
First ATP Most Improved Player
1973
Succeeded by
Guillermo Vilas