Vijay Amritraj (born 14 December 1953) is a former tennis player, sports commentator and actor from India. He is the first Indian to turn fully professional in sport and is often considered amongst the greatest in the history of Indian sport. He was awarded the Padma Shri, India's 4th highest civilian honour in 1983.
|Born||14 December 1953|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Plays||Right-handed (one-handed backhand)|
|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)|
|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)|
Vijay was born in Chennai, India to Maggie Dhairyam and Robert Amritraj. He has two brothers, Anand Amritraj and Ashok Amritraj, who were also international tennis players. He did schooling in Don Bosco and later graduated from Loyola College in Madras
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 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. 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.
Amritraj lives in California with wife Shyamala, who is Sri Lankan Tamil, and sons Prakash Amritraj and Vikram. 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. 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|
Singles: 25 (18–7)Edit
|Grand Slam (0)|
|Tennis Masters Cup (0)|
|ATP Masters Series (0)|
|ATP Tour (12)|
|Winner||1.||23 July 1973||Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA||Clay||Jimmy Connors||7–5, 2–6, 7–5|
|Runner-up||1.||20 August 1973||South Orange, New Jersey, USA||Grass||Colin Dibley||4–6, 7–6, 4–6|
|Winner||2.||21 October 1973||New Delhi, India||Grass||Mal Anderson||6–4, 5–7, 8–9, 6–3, 11–9|
|Runner-up||2.||27 March 1974||Tempe, Arizona, USA||Hard||Jimmy Connors||1–6, 2–6|
|Winner||3.||7 April 1974||Washington DC, USA||Carpet||Karl Meiler||6–4, 6–3|
|Winner||4.||10 June 1974||Beckenham, England||Grass||Tom Gorman||6–7, 6–2, 6–4|
|Winner||5.||18 August 1975||Columbus, Ohio, USA||Hard||Robert Lutz||6–4, 7–5|
|Winner||6.||17 November 1975||Calcutta, India||Clay||Manuel Orantes||7–5, 6–3|
|Winner||7.||9 March 1976||Memphis, Tennessee, USA||Carpet (i)||Stan Smith||6–2, 0–6, 6–0|
|Winner||8.||16 September 1976||Newport, Rhode Island, USA||Grass||Brian Teacher||6–3, 4–6, 6–3, 6–1|
|Winner||9.||10 January 1977||Auckland, New Zealand||Grass||Tim Wilkison||7–6, 5–7, 6–1, 6–2|
|Winner||10.||28 November 1977||Bombay, India||Clay||Terry Moor||7–6, 6–4|
|Winner||11.||25 September 1978||Mexico City, Mexico||Clay||Raúl Ramírez||6–4, 6–4|
|Runner-up||3.||30 October 1978||Cologne, Germany||Hard (i)||Wojtek Fibak||2–6, 1–0 ret.|
|Winner||12.||19 November 1979||Bombay, India||Clay||Peter Elter||6–1, 7–5|
|Runner-up||4.||19 February 1980||WCT Invitational, Maryland, USA||Carpet (i)||Björn Borg||5–7, 1–6, 3–6|
|Runner-up||5.||24 March 1980||Milan, Italy||Carpet (i)||John McEnroe||2–6, 4–6|
|Winner||13.||7 July 1980||Newport, Rhode Island, USA||Grass||Andrew Pattison||6–1, 5–7, 6–3|
|Winner||14.||17 November 1980||Bangkok, Thailand||Carpet (i)||Brian Teacher||6–3, 7–5|
|Runner-up||6.||9 December 1980||WCT Challenge Cup, Canada||Carpet (i)||John McEnroe||1–6, 6–2, 1–6|
|Runner-up||7.||15 August 1983||Stowe, Vermont, USA||Hard||John Fitzgerald||6–3, 2–6, 5–7|
|Winner||15.||14 May 1984||Spring, Texas, USA||Hard (i)||Leif Shiras||7–5, 4–6 7–6|
|Winner||16.||9 July 1984||Newport, Rhode Island, USA||Grass||Tim Mayotte||3–6, 6–4, 6–4|
|Winner||17.||16 June 1986||Bristol, England||Grass||Henri Leconte||7–6, 1–6, 8–6|
|Winner||18.||15 August 1988||New Haven, Connecticut, USA||Hard||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||New Delhi, India||Anand Amritraj|| Jim McManus
|Winner||1.||16 November 1974||Bombay, India||Clay||Anand Amritraj|| Dick Crealy
|Runner-up||2.||19 August 1974||South Orange, New Jersey, USA||Hard||Anand Amritraj|| Brian Gottfried
|6–7, 7–6, 6–7|
|Winner||2.||19 August 1974||Columbus, Ohio, USA||Hard||Anand Amritraj|| Tom Gorman
|Runner-up||3.||10 February 1975||Toronto, Canada||Carpet (i)||Anand Amritraj|| Dick Stockton
Erik Van Dillen
|4–6, 5–7, 1–6|
|Runner-up||4.||10 March 1975||Washington DC, USA||Carpet (i)||Anand Amritraj|| Mike Estep
|Winner||3.||24 March 1975||Atlanta, Georgia, USA||Carpet (i)||Anand Amritraj|| Mark Cox
|Runner-up||5.||5 August 1975||Louisville, Kentucky, USA||Clay||Anand Amritraj|| Wojtek Fibak
|Winner||4.||15 September 1975||Los Angeles, California, USA||Hard||Anand Amritraj|| Cliff Drysdale
|7–6, 4–6, 6–4|
|Runner-up||6.||17 November 1975||Calcutta, India||Clay||Anand Amritraj|| Juan Gisbert
|6–1, 4–6, 3–6|
|Winner||5.||9 March 1976||Memphis, Tennessee, USA||Carpet (i)||Anand Amritraj|| Roscoe Tanner
|Runner-up||7.||14 March 1977||St. Louis, Missouri, USA||Carpet (i)||Dick Stockton|| Ilie Năstase
|4–6, 6–3, 6–76|
|Runner-up||8.||21 March 1977||Rotterdam, Netherlands||Carpet (i)||Dick Stockton|| Wojtek Fibak
|Winner||6.||4 May 1977||Masters Doubles WCT, New York, USA||Carpet (i)||Dick Stockton|| Vitas Gerulaitis
|7–6, 7–6, 4–6, 6–3|
|Winner||7.||13 June 1977||Queen's Club, London, England||Grass||Anand Amritraj|| David Lloyd
|Winner||8.||25 September 1978||Mexico City, Mexico||Clay||Anand Amritraj|| Fred McNair
|Runner-up||9.||9 April 1979||Cairo, Egypt||Clay||Anand Amritraj|| Peter McNamara
|Runner-up||10.||23 July 1979||Louisville, Kentucky||Hard||Raúl Ramírez|| Marty Riessen
|2–6, 6–1, 1–6|
|Runner-up||11.||15 October 1979||Sydney, Australia||Hard||Pat Dupre|| Rod Frawley
|Winner||9.||10 March 1980||Rotterdam, Netherlands||Carpet (i)||Stan Smith|| Bill Scanlon
|Winner||10.||17 March 1980||Frankfurt, Germany||Carpet (i)||Stan Smith|| Andrew Pattison
|6–7, 6–2, 6–2|
|Runner-up||12.||3 August 1981||Columbus, Ohio, USA||Hard||Anand Amritraj|| Bruce Manson
|Runner-up||13.||1 November 1982||Baltimore, Maryland, USA||Carpet (i)||Fred Stolle|| Anand Amritraj
|Winner||11.||30 November 1982||Chicago, Illinois, USA||Carpet (i)||Anand Amritraj|| Mike Cahill
|3–6, 6–3, 6–3|
|Winner||12.||21 February 1983||Kuwait City, Kuwait||Hard||Ilie Năstase|| Broderick Dyke
|6–3, 3–6, 6–2|
|Winner||13.||4 July 1983||Newport, Rhode Island, USA||Grass||John Fitzgerald|| Tim Gullikson
|Runner-up||14.||1 August 1983||Columbus, Ohio, USA||Hard||John Fitzgerald|| Scott Davis
|1–6, 6–4, 6–7|
|Runner-up||15.||29 October 1984||Stockholm, Sweden||Hard||Ilie Năstase|| Henri Leconte
|6–3, 6–7, 4–6|
|Winner||14.||7 July 1986||Newport, Rhode Island, USA||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
- "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.
- "Tennis legend Vijay Amritraj biopic in works". New Indian Express. 17 September 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
- "The man that brought you CTL: 6 reasons Vijay Amritraj is India's hero". Sportskeeda. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
- "Sports champions say a big thank you to Mahindra Scorpio TOISA". Dhananjay Roy. The Times of India. 28 February 2018. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
- "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.
- "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.
- "Maggie Amritraj passes away at 92". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "Mother of Amritraj brothers, Maggie, dies at 92". The Times of India. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "MI6 allies". 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. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- "Honeymoon over for Amritraj". The Southeast Missourian. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- "Amritrajs' Big-Fat Wedding in Colombo". Fashion Scandal. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- "Messengers Of Peace". Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
- "The Vijay Amritraj Foundation". Retrieved 13 July 2015.
- "Look To The Stars". Retrieved 13 July 2015.