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 his schooling from Don Bosco and 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 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 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.
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. 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)|
|Win||1–0||Jul 1973||Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA||Clay||Jimmy Connors||7–5, 2–6, 7–5|
|Loss||1–1||Aug 1973||South Orange, New Jersey, USA||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, Arizona, USA||Hard||Jimmy Connors||1–6, 2–6|
|Win||3–2||Apr 1974||Washington DC, USA||Carpet||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, Ohio, USA||Hard||Robert 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, Tennessee, USA||Carpet (i)||Stan Smith||6–2, 0–6, 6–0|
|Win||8–2||Sep 1976||Newport, Rhode Island, USA||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, Germany||Hard (i)||Wojtek 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, Maryland, USA||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, Rhode Island, USA||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, Vermont, USA||Hard||John Fitzgerald||6–3, 2–6, 5–7|
|Win||15–7||May 1984||Spring, Texas, USA||Hard (i)||Leif Shiras||7–5, 4–6 7–6|
|Win||16–7||Jul 1984||Newport, Rhode Island, USA||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, Connecticut, USA||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, New Jersey, USA||Hard||Anand Amritraj|| Brian Gottfried
|6–7, 7–6, 6–7|
|Win||2–2||Aug 1974||Columbus, Ohio, USA||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 DC, USA||Carpet (i)||Anand Amritraj|| Mike Estep
|Win||3–4||Mar 1975||Atlanta, Georgia, USA||Carpet (i)||Anand Amritraj|| Mark Cox
|Loss||3–5||Aug 1975||Louisville, Kentucky, USA||Clay||Anand Amritraj|| Wojtek Fibak
|Win||4–5||Sep 1975||Los Angeles, California, USA||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, Tennessee, USA||Carpet (i)||Anand Amritraj|| Roscoe Tanner
|Loss||5–7||Mar 1977||St. Louis, Missouri, USA||Carpet (i)||Dick Stockton|| Ilie Năstase
|4–6, 6–3, 6–76|
|Loss||5–8||Mar 1977||Rotterdam, Netherlands||Carpet (i)||Dick Stockton|| Wojtek Fibak
|Win||6–8||May 1977||Masters Doubles WCT, New York, USA||Carpet (i)||Dick Stockton|| Vitas Gerulaitis
|7–6, 7–6, 4–6, 6–3|
|Win||7–8||Jun 1977||Queen's Club, 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, Kentucky||Hard||Raúl Ramírez|| Marty Riessen
|2–6, 6–1, 1–6|
|Loss||8–11||Oct 1979||Sydney, Australia||Hard||Pat Dupre|| Rod Frawley
|Win||9–11||Mar 1980||Rotterdam, Netherlands||Carpet (i)||Stan Smith|| Bill Scanlon
|Win||10–11||Mar 1980||Frankfurt, Germany||Carpet (i)||Stan Smith|| Andrew Pattison
|6–7, 6–2, 6–2|
|Loss||10–12||Aug 1981||Columbus, Ohio, USA||Hard||Anand Amritraj|| Bruce Manson
|Loss||10–13||Nov 1982||Baltimore, Maryland, USA||Carpet (i)||Fred Stolle|| Anand Amritraj
|Win||11–13||Nov 1982||Chicago, Illinois, USA||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, Rhode Island, USA||Grass||John Fitzgerald|| Tim Gullikson
|Loss||13–14||Aug 1983||Columbus, Ohio, USA||Hard||John Fitzgerald|| Scott Davis
|1–6, 6–4, 6–7|
|Loss||13–15||Oct 1984||Stockholm, Sweden||Hard||Ilie Năstase|| Henri Leconte
|6–3, 6–7, 4–6|
|Win||14–15||Jul 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.
- "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2014)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs (India). 21 May 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
- "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.