Vijay Amritraj (born 14 December 1953) is an Indian sports commentator, actor and retired professional tennis player from Madras. He was awarded the Padma Shri, India's 4th highest civilian honour, in 1983. In 2022, he was honored for his contributions to tennis in London by the International Tennis Hall of Fame and International Tennis Federation.
|Born||14 December 1953|
Madras, Tamil Nadu, India
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Plays||Right-handed (one-handed backhand)|
|Highest ranking||No. 18 (7 July 1980)|
|Grand Slam singles results|
|Australian Open||2R (1984)|
|French Open||3R (1974)|
|Wimbledon||QF (1973, 1981)|
|US Open||QF (1973, 1974)|
|WCT Finals||SF (1982)|
|Highest ranking||No. 23 (24 March 1980)|
|Grand Slam doubles results|
|US Open||QF (1973, 1976)|
|Davis Cup||F (1974, 1987)|
Early life edit
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. 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 quarterfinals. 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. 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 eleven matches.
Amritraj was part of the India 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 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. He also appeared briefly in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) as an unnamed 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 multimedia business. Amritraj also hosts a talk show named Dimensions with Vijay Amritraj broadcast on CNN-IBN.
Personal life edit
His son Prakash and nephew 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. Vijay Amritraj founded The Vijay Amritraj Foundation in 2006.
|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 edit
Singles performance timeline edit
|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 edit
Singles: 25 (18–7) edit
|Grand Slam (0)|
|ATP Masters Series (0)|
|ATP Tour (12)|
|Win||1–0||Jul 1973||Bretton Woods, U.S.||Clay||Jimmy Connors||7–5, 2–6, 7–5|
|Loss||1–1||Aug 1973||South Orange, U.S.||Grass||Colin Dibley||4–6, 7–6, 4–6|
|Win||2–1||Oct 1973||New Delhi, India||Grass||Mal Anderson||6–4, 5–7, 8–9, 6–3, 11–9|
|Loss||2–2||Mar 1974||Tempe, U.S.||Hard||Jimmy Connors||1–6, 2–6|
|Win||3–2||Apr 1974||Washington D.C., U.S.||Carpet (i)||Karl Meiler||6–4, 6–3|
|Win||4–2||Jun 1974||Beckenham, England||Grass||Tom Gorman||6–7, 6–2, 6–4|
|Win||5–2||Aug 1975||Columbus, U.S.||Hard||Bob Lutz||6–4, 7–5|
|Win||6–2||Nov 1975||Calcutta, India||Clay||Manuel Orantes||7–5, 6–3|
|Win||7–2||Mar 1976||Memphis, U.S.||Carpet (i)||Stan Smith||6–2, 0–6, 6–0|
|Win||8–2||Sep 1976||Newport, U.S.||Grass||Brian Teacher||6–3, 4–6, 6–3, 6–1|
|Win||9–2||Jan 1977||Auckland, New Zealand||Grass||Tim Wilkison||7–6, 5–7, 6–1, 6–2|
|Win||10–2||Nov 1977||Bombay, India||Clay||Terry Moor||7–6, 6–4|
|Win||11–2||Sep 1978||Mexico City, Mexico||Clay||Raúl Ramírez||6–4, 6–4|
|Loss||11–3||Oct 1978||Cologne, West Germany||Hard (i)||Wojciech Fibak||2–6, 1–0 ret.|
|Win||12–3||Nov 1979||Bombay, India||Clay||Peter Elter||6–1, 7–5|
|Loss||12–4||Feb 1980||WCT Invitational, U.S.||Carpet (i)||Björn Borg||5–7, 1–6, 3–6|
|Loss||12–5||Mar 1980||Milan, Italy||Carpet (i)||John McEnroe||2–6, 4–6|
|Win||13–5||Jul 1980||Newport, U.S.||Grass||Andrew Pattison||6–1, 5–7, 6–3|
|Win||14–5||Nov 1980||Bangkok, Thailand||Carpet (i)||Brian Teacher||6–3, 7–5|
|Loss||14–6||Dec 1980||WCT Challenge Cup, Canada||Carpet (i)||John McEnroe||1–6, 6–2, 1–6|
|Loss||14–7||Aug 1983||Stowe, U.S.||Hard||John Fitzgerald||6–3, 2–6, 5–7|
|Win||15–7||May 1984||Spring, U.S.||Hard (i)||Leif Shiras||7–5, 4–6 7–6|
|Win||16–7||Jul 1984||Newport, U.S.||Grass||Tim Mayotte||3–6, 6–4, 6–4|
|Win||17–7||Jun 1986||Bristol, England||Grass||Henri Leconte||7–6, 1–6, 8–6|
|Win||18–7||Aug 1988||New Haven, U.S.||Hard||Zeeshan Ali||6–3, 6–1|
Doubles: 29 (14–15) edit
|Loss||0–1||Oct 1973||New Delhi, India||Anand Amritraj|| Jim McManus
|Win||1–1||Nov 1974||Bombay, India||Clay||Anand Amritraj|| Dick Crealy
|Loss||1–2||Aug 1974||South Orange, U.S.||Hard||Anand Amritraj|| Brian Gottfried
|6–7, 7–6, 6–7|
|Win||2–2||Aug 1974||Columbus, U.S.||Hard||Anand Amritraj|| Tom Gorman
|Loss||2–3||Feb 1975||Toronto, Canada||Carpet (i)||Anand Amritraj|| Dick Stockton
Erik van Dillen
|4–6, 5–7, 1–6|
|Loss||2–4||Mar 1975||Washington D.C., U.S.||Carpet (i)||Anand Amritraj|| Mike Estep
|Win||3–4||Mar 1975||Atlanta, U.S.||Carpet (i)||Anand Amritraj|| Mark Cox
|Loss||3–5||Aug 1975||Louisville, U.S.||Clay||Anand Amritraj|| Wojciech Fibak
|Win||4–5||Sep 1975||Los Angeles, U.S.||Hard||Anand Amritraj|| Cliff Drysdale
|7–6, 4–6, 6–4|
|Loss||4–6||Nov 1975||Calcutta, India||Clay||Anand Amritraj|| Juan Gisbert
|6–1, 4–6, 3–6|
|Win||5–6||Mar 1976||Memphis, U.S.||Carpet (i)||Anand Amritraj|| Roscoe Tanner
|Loss||5–7||Mar 1977||St. Louis, U.S.||Carpet (i)||Dick Stockton|| Ilie Năstase
|4–6, 6–3, 6–76|
|Loss||5–8||Mar 1977||Rotterdam, Netherlands||Carpet (i)||Dick Stockton|| Wojciech Fibak
|Win||6–8||May 1977||Masters Doubles WCT, U.S.||Carpet (i)||Dick Stockton|| Vitas Gerulaitis
|7–6, 7–6, 4–6, 6–3|
|Win||7–8||Jun 1977||London, England||Grass||Anand Amritraj|| David Lloyd
|Win||8–8||Sep 1978||Mexico City, Mexico||Clay||Anand Amritraj|| Fred McNair
|Loss||8–9||Apr 1979||Cairo, Egypt||Clay||Anand Amritraj|| Peter McNamara
|Loss||8–10||Jul 1979||Louisville, U.S.||Hard||Raúl Ramírez|| Marty Riessen
|2–6, 6–1, 1–6|
|Loss||8–11||Oct 1979||Sydney, Australia||Hard||Pat DuPré|| Rod Frawley
|Win||9–11||Mar 1980||Rotterdam, Netherlands||Carpet (i)||Stan Smith|| Bill Scanlon
|Win||10–11||Mar 1980||Frankfurt, West Germany||Carpet (i)||Stan Smith|| Andrew Pattison
|6–7, 6–2, 6–2|
|Loss||10–12||Aug 1981||Columbus, U.S.||Hard||Anand Amritraj|| Bruce Manson
|Loss||10–13||Nov 1982||Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.||Carpet (i)||Fred Stolle|| Anand Amritraj
|Win||11–13||Nov 1982||Chicago, U.S.||Carpet (i)||Anand Amritraj|| Mike Cahill
|3–6, 6–3, 6–3|
|Win||12–13||Feb 1983||Kuwait City, Kuwait||Hard||Ilie Năstase|| Broderick Dyke
|6–3, 3–6, 6–2|
|Win||13–13||Jul 1983||Newport, U.S.||Grass||John Fitzgerald|| Tim Gullikson
|Loss||13–14||Aug 1983||Columbus, U.S.||Hard||John Fitzgerald|| Scott Davis
|1–6, 6–4, 6–7|
|Loss||13–15||Oct 1984||Stockholm, Sweden||Hard (i)||Ilie Năstase|| Henri Leconte
|6–3, 6–7, 4–6|
|Win||14–15||Jul 1986||Newport, U.S.||Grass||Tim Wilkison|| Eddie Edwards
|4–6, 7–5, 7–6|
- Vijay Amritraj Archived 5 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine at the Association of Tennis Professionals
- webarchive ATP Tour 2009
- 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.
- "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.
- 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.
- 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. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
- "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.
- "Top Male Tennis Players of India through History". Times of India. Archived from the original on 6 January 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
- "Vijay Amritraj honoured with Golden Achievement Award by ITF". The Hindu. June 2022.
- "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.
- "At home on every turf". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 29 July 2004. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 9 June 2007.
- "Maggie Amritraj passes away at 92". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 24 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "Mother of Amritraj brothers, Maggie, dies at 92". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "MI6 allies". Archived from the original on 2 February 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
- 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.
- "Honeymoon over for Amritraj". The Southeast Missourian. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- "Amritrajs' Big-Fat Wedding in Colombo". Fashion Scandal. Archived from the original on 3 July 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- "Messengers of Peace". Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. Archived from the original on 26 December 2002. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
- "The Vijay Amritraj Foundation". Archived from the original on 11 July 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
- "Look to the Stars". Archived from the original on 2 July 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2015.