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Vijay Amritraj

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Vijay Amritraj
Amritraj in 2017
Country (sports) India
Born (1953-12-14) 14 December 1953 (age 70)
Madras, India
Height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Turned pro1970
Retired1993
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize money$1,331,913
Singles
Career record399–308[1]
Career titles15[2]
Highest rankingNo. 18 (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 an Indian sports commentator, actor and retired professional tennis player from Madras.[3][4][5][6] He was awarded the Padma Shri, the government of India's 4th highest civilian honour, in 1983.[7][8] In 2022, he was honored for his contributions to tennis in London by the International Tennis Hall of Fame and International Tennis Federation.[9]

Vijay Amritraj partnering brother Anand at the 2000 Wimbledon Championships

Early life

Vijay was born in Madras,[10] India to Maggie Dhairyam and Robert Amritraj.[11][12] He has two brothers, Anand Amritraj and Ashok Amritraj, who were also international tennis players.[13]

Career

After playing his first Grand Prix event in 1970, Amritraj achieved his first success in singles in 1973 when he reached the quarterfinals at two Grand Slam events.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

Amritraj beat Björn Borg in the second round in the US Open in 1974, losing to Rosewall in quarterfinals.[14][15] In 1979, he lost in the second round of Wimbledon to defending champion Borg after being up two sets to one and leading 4–1 in the fourth set.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] He beat John McEnroe in the first round of Cincinnati Masters in 1984. Overall, he had five career wins over Jimmy Connors in their eleven matches.[citation needed]

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

Acting career

Amritraj has also pursued an acting career. His best known role is probably as the MI6 intelligence operative Vijay in the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy.[16] He also appeared briefly in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) as an unnamed starship captain.[17]

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.[citation needed] He has since gone on to become a sports commentator, has been a judge at the Miss Universe pageant, and has developed a multimedia business. Amritraj also hosts a talk show named Dimensions with Vijay Amritraj broadcast on CNN-IBN.[citation needed]

Personal life

Amritraj lives in Southern California with his wife Shymala and sons Prakash Amritraj and Vikram.[18][19][20]

Prakash and his paternal cousin Stephen Amritraj are also professional tennis players.

On 9 February 2001, Vijay was appointed a United Nations Messenger of 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.[21]

He founded The Vijay Amritraj Foundation in 2006.[22][23]

Filmography

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 statistics

Singles performance timeline

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# P# DNQ A Z# PO G S B NMS NTI P NH
(W) winner; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (P#) preliminary round; (DNQ) did not qualify; (A) absent; (Z#) Davis/Fed Cup Zonal Group (with number indication) or (PO) play-off; (G) gold, (S) silver or (B) bronze Olympic/Paralympic medal; (NMS) not a Masters tournament; (NTI) not a Tier I tournament; (P) postponed; (NH) not held; (SR) strike rate (events won / competed); (W–L) win–loss record.
Tournament 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 SR
Australian Open A A A A A A A A A A A 1R 2R A A A A A A 0 / 2
French Open A A 3R A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A 0 / 1
Wimbledon 2R QF 2R 2R 2R 2R 2R 2R 1R QF 3R 1R 1R 4R 1R 2R A A 1R 0 / 17
US Open 1R QF QF 2R 1R 1R 1R 2R 3R 3R A A 2R 1R A A A A A 0 / 12

Career finals

Singles: 27 (19–8)

Legend
Grand Slam (0)
ATP Masters Series (0)
ATP Tour (15)
Result W/L Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Win 1–0 Jun 1973 Rothmans Chichester, England (ATP Challenger Tour) Grass United States Doug Crawford 6-1, 7-6
Win 2–0 Jul 1973 Bretton Woods, U.S. Clay United States Jimmy Connors 7–5, 2–6, 7–5
Loss 2–1 Aug 1973 South Orange, U.S. Grass Australia Colin Dibley 4–6, 7–6, 4–6
Win 3–1 Oct 1973 New Delhi, India Grass Australia Mal Anderson 6–4, 5–7, 8–9, 6–3, 11–9
Loss 3–2 Mar 1974 Tempe, U.S. Hard United States Jimmy Connors 1–6, 2–6
Win 4–2 Apr 1974 Washington D.C., U.S. (ATP Challenger Tour) Carpet (i) West Germany Karl Meiler 6–4, 6–3
Win 5–2 Jun 1974 Beckenham, England Grass United States Tom Gorman 6–7, 6–2, 6–4
Win 6–2 Aug 1975 Columbus, U.S. Hard United States Bob Lutz 6–4, 7–5
Win 7–2 Nov 1975 Calcutta, India Clay Spain Manuel Orantes 7–5, 6–3
Win 8–2 Mar 1976 Memphis, U.S. Carpet (i) United States Stan Smith 6–2, 0–6, 6–0
Win 9–2 Sep 1976 Newport, U.S. Grass United States Brian Teacher 6–3, 4–6, 6–3, 6–1
Win 10–2 Jan 1977 Auckland, New Zealand Grass United States Tim Wilkison 7–6, 5–7, 6–1, 6–2
Win 11–2 Nov 1977 Bombay, India Clay United States Terry Moor 7–6, 6–4
Win 12–2 Sep 1978 Mexico City, Mexico Carpet (i) Mexico Raúl Ramírez 6–4, 6–4
Loss 12–3 Oct 1978 Cologne, West Germany Hard (i) Poland Wojciech Fibak 2–6, 1–0 ret.
Win 13–3 Nov 1979 Bombay, India Clay West Germany Peter Elter 6–1, 7–5
Loss 13–4 Feb 1980 WCT Invitational Salisbury, U.S. Carpet (i) Sweden Björn Borg 5–7, 1–6, 3–6
Loss 13–5 Mar 1980 Milan, Italy Carpet (i) United States John McEnroe 2–6, 4–6
Win 14–5 Jul 1980 Newport, U.S. Grass Zimbabwe Andrew Pattison 6–1, 5–7, 6–3
Win 15–5 Nov 1980 Bangkok, Thailand Carpet (i) United States Brian Teacher 6–3, 7–5
Loss 15–6 Dec 1980 WCT Challenge Cup, Canada Carpet (i) United States John McEnroe 1–6, 6–2, 1–6
Loss 15–7 Mar 1981 Salisbury WCT, U.S. Carpet (i) United States Bill Scanlon 6-3, 2-2, 4-6, 6-3, 4-6
Loss 15–8 Aug 1983 Stowe, U.S. Hard Australia John Fitzgerald 6–3, 2–6, 5–7
Win 16–8 May 1984 Spring, Texas, U.S. (ATP Challenger Tour) Hard (i) United States Leif Shiras 7–5, 4–6 7–6
Win 17–8 Jul 1984 Newport, U.S. Grass United States Tim Mayotte 3–6, 6–4, 6–4
Win 18–8 Jun 1986 Bristol, England Grass France Henri Leconte 7–6, 1–6, 8–6
Win 19–8 Aug 1988 New Haven, U.S. (ATP Challenger Tour) Hard India Zeeshan Ali 6–3, 6–1

Doubles: 29 (14–15)

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, U.S. Hard India Anand Amritraj United States Tom Gorman
United States Bob Lutz
walkover
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 D.C., U.S. Carpet (i) India Anand Amritraj United States Mike Estep
New Zealand Jeff Simpson
6–75, 3–6
Win 3–4 Mar 1975 Atlanta, 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, U.S. Clay India Anand Amritraj Poland Wojciech Fibak
Argentina Guillermo Vilas
(not played)
Win 4–5 Sep 1975 Los Angeles, 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, 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, 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 Wojciech 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 Carpet (i) 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, U.S. 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 DuPré Australia Rod Frawley
Paraguay Francisco González
walkover
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, West Germany Carpet (i) United States Stan Smith Southern Rhodesia Andrew Pattison
United States Butch Walts
6–7, 6–2, 6–2
Loss 10–12 Aug 1981 Columbus, 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, 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 (ATP Challenger Tour) Hard Romania Ilie Năstase Australia Broderick Dyke
Australia Rod Frawley
6–3, 3–6, 6–2
Win 13–13 Jul 1983 Newport, 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 (i) 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

  1. ^ Vijay Amritraj Archived 5 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine at the Association of Tennis Professionals
  2. ^ webarchive ATP Tour 2009
  3. ^ Andrew McNicol (11 May 2018). "From James Bond cameo to biopic on his extraordinary life: tennis legend Vijay Amritraj to serve up another smash hit". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 26 July 2018. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  4. ^ "Tennis legend Vijay Amritraj biopic in works". New Indian Express. 17 September 2017. Archived from the original on 26 July 2018. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  5. ^ Dhananjay Roy (28 February 2018). "Sports champions say a big thank you to Mahindra Scorpio TOISA". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 18 April 2018. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  6. ^ Lisa Dillman (2 August 1987). "TENNIS DIPLOMAT : Vijay Amritraj Helps Pave the Way for Israel's Davis Cup Team to Play in India Despite Terrorist Threats". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 14 December 2023. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2014)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs (India). 21 May 2014. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 February 2018. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Top Male Tennis Players of India through History". Times of India. Archived from the original on 6 January 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Vijay Amritraj honoured with Golden Achievement Award by ITF". The Hindu. June 2022. Archived from the original on 5 August 2022. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ "At home on every turf". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 29 July 2004. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 9 June 2007.
  12. ^ "Maggie Amritraj passes away at 92". The New Indian Express. 21 April 2019. Archived from the original on 24 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  13. ^ "Mother of Amritraj brothers, Maggie, dies at 92". The Times of India. 21 April 2019. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Bjorn Borg VS Vijay Amritraj | Head 2 Head | ATP Tour | Tennis". ATP Tour. Retrieved 26 December 2023.
  15. ^ "Ken Rosewall VS Vijay Amritraj | Head 2 Head | ATP Tour | Tennis". ATP Tour. Retrieved 26 December 2023.
  16. ^ "MI6 allies". Archived from the original on 2 February 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  17. ^ "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) - IMDb". IMDb.
  18. ^ Lidz, Franz (31 March 1986). "Tennis Player Vijay Amritraj Is as Fine on Film As He Is on the Court". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  19. ^ "Honeymoon over for Amritraj". The Southeast Missourian. Archived from the original on 29 September 2021. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  20. ^ "Amritrajs' Big-Fat Wedding in Colombo". Fashion Scandal. 4 November 2012. Archived from the original on 3 July 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  21. ^ "Messengers of Peace". Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. Archived from the original on 26 December 2002. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  22. ^ "The Vijay Amritraj Foundation". Archived from the original on 11 July 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  23. ^ "Look to the Stars". Archived from the original on 2 July 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
Awards First ATP Most Improved Player 1973 Succeeded byGuillermo Vilas
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Vijay Amritraj
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