December 14, 1953 |
|Height||1.93m (6ft. 4in.)|
|Weight||86 kg (190 lb)|
|Plays||Right-handed (1-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|
Last updated on: 13 June 2012.
Vijay was born in Chennai, India to Maggie Dhairyam and Robert Amritraj. He and his brothers, Anand Amritraj and Ashok Amritraj, were among the first Indians to play in top-flight international tour tennis. They did their schooling in Don Bosco Egmore, Chennai, and later graduated from Loyola College, Chennai. In 1976, the brothers (Vijay and Anand) were semifinalists in the Wimbledon men's doubles. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1983.
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 7–5 in the fifth set 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 repeated his feat at Forest Hills in 1974 when he went out in the last eight again to Rosewall after beating a young Björn Borg in the second round. In the years that followed he reached the latter stages of numerous Grand Prix events but failed to meet with success in Grand Slam tournaments. It was not until 1981 when Amritraj again reached the quarterfinals, going out in five sets to Jimmy Connors. This match typified Amritraj's tennis. He was a natural grass-court player who liked to chip-and-charge and serve-and-volley. He could compete against the world's best but often would lose longer matches through a lack of stamina. Against Connors he was up two sets but lost the last two convincingly in a 2–6, 5–7, 6–4, 6–3, 6–2 loss. A similar Wimbledon result occurred in 1979 in the 2nd round where he looked set to defeat defending champion Borg, up two sets to one and 4–1 in the fourth set, only to lose 2–6, 6–4, 4–6, 7–6, 6–2.
Amritraj was the captain of the Indian Davis Cup for much of the late 1970s and 1980s, helping India reach the finals in 1974 and 1987. It was here that he revelled as a champion and chalked memorable wins against higher ranked players. A do-or-die five set epic over Martín Jaite of Argentina was the highlight of India's run to the final in 1987.
Amritraj still plays occasionally and has entered the finals of the 2008 Wimbledon Sr. Invitation Gentlemen's Doubles, partnering Gene Mayer. They were seeded number 1. During next years Amritraj participated in Wimbledon Sr. Inviation Gentlemen's Doubles with John Fitzgerald.
- He compiled a career singles win-loss record 384-296, winning 16 singles titles to go along with 13 in doubles.
- He beat the best, including John McEnroe at his peak in 1984 (in the first round in Cincinnati).
- He had five career wins over Jimmy Connors in their 11 matches.
- He reached his career high ranking in singles of World No. 16 in July 1980.
- His son Prakash Amritraj and nephew Stephen Amritraj are professional tennis players.
Amritaj also had a brief acting career. His most notable appearance is probably as the MI6 agent Vijay in the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy. His most notable scene was a car chase with the running gag being his abilities as a tennis player. He also appeared briefly in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home 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 currently the host of Dimensions with Vijay Amritraj on CNN IBN. The show is a one hour sit-down interview, on location, with icons from around the world. Guests include Michael Douglas, Cindy Crawford, Hugh Hefner, Pierce Brosnan, Donald Trump, Sharon Stone, Sugar Ray Leonard, Laffit Pincay, Andre Agassi and Stephanie Graf, Jimmy Connors, and Oscar De La Hoya. Producers of the show include Shrimun Chakraborty and Kapil Mahendra. This show is rated the number one English show in all of South Asia with a viewership of well over 200 million people.
The Vijay Amritraj Foundation
On 9 February 2001 Vijay Amritraj was appointed UN Messenger of Peace. He has been a committed advocate to people in need, devoting his time to raising awareness on the issues of drugs and HIV/AIDS and in raising funds to fight the spread of AIDS worldwide.
In 2006, after completing his assignment as a "United Nations Messenger of Peace", Vijay Amritraj founded "The Vijay Amritraj Foundation". The foundation's mission is to bring hope, help and healing to the defenseless and innocent victims of disease, tragedy and circumstance in India. Driven by a firm belief that "in giving we receive", the foundation pledges to make a real difference for those who are most in need of the helping hand of humanity. After an extraordinarily successful debut in 2006, the foundation raised enough funds to immediately begin supporting various charitable organizations in India.
A Few of the Charitable Organizations Supported
Founders: Dr Sunitha Krishnan, Bro Jose Vetticatil
Founding Year: 1996
Location: Hyderabad, India
Mission: To prevent women and children from entering prostitution. The organization is actively involved in second-generation prevention, rescue, rehabilitation, restoration and social reintegration of victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.
Parikrama Humanity Foundation
Founder: Shukla Bose
Founding Year: 2003
Location: Banglore, India
Mission: To create a sustainable model, a clear way for under-served children to transform their lives through top-class education and in the process be a catalyst for effecting fundamental change in the way the poor are educated and marginalized.
Founders: Mr. M.K. Kumar, Ms. Lakshmi Kumar, Ms. Geetha Krishnan Kutty, Mr. M. Ramakrishnan, Ms. Treasure Henderson, Dr. M. Annalakshmi, Ms. Mini Shankar
Founding Year: 1997
Location: Chennai, India
Mission: To provide life skills and employment aid for destitute women.
Noteworthy Persons Associated
The Foundation aims to have a meaningful presence in all the states of the Indian Union, and to make a positive difference in the lives of the less fortunate citizens of these states. Today, many noteworthy persons are associated with the Foundation, including World Leaders, Statesmen, Business Leaders, and Philanthropists; among them, George H. W. Bush -Former President of the United States, Reddy S.J Reddy - Chairman & CEO of Mainspectrum Mediastudios, Shashi Tharoor - Former Under Secretary General of the United Nations, General the Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank - Chief of the Defence Staff of the United Kingdom during the Blair Administration.
The foundation puts on events each year in Southern California. Past events have included golf tournaments and gala dinners. In 2005, Indian pop singer, Sonu Nigam performed at the gala dinner at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The success of this concert led the foundation to pursue a series of concert style events that have included performance from top singers Kavita Krishnamurthy and Alanis Morissette and legendary bands such as The Beach Boys and Kool and the Gang. The foundation had also held a Tennis Event Classic the past three years, during which notable celebrities such as Matthew Perry and Kaley Cuoco have attended and played against guest tennis stars. Lindsey Davenport, Tracy Austin, Jimmy Connors, and Michael Chang are among the attendees.
Singles Career Titles (16):
- 1986 (1) Bristol (Outdoor/Grass)
- 1984 (1) Newport (Outdoor/Grass)
- 1980 (2) Bangkok (Indoor/Carpet), Newport (Outdoor/Grass)
- 1979 (1) Bombay (Outdoor/Clay)
- 1978 (1) Mexico City (Indoor/Carpet)
- 1977 (2) Bombay (Outdoor/Clay), Auckland (Outdoor/Grass)
- 1976 (2) Newport (Outdoor/Grass), Memphis WCT (Indoor/Carpet)
- 1975 (2) Calcutta (Outdoor/Clay), Columbus (Outdoor/Hard)
- 1974 (2) Beckenham (Outdoor/Grass), Washington (/)
- 1973 (2) New Delhi (Outdoor/), Bretton Woods (Outdoor/Clay)
Doubles Career Titles (13):
- 1986 (1) Newport (w/Wilkison, Outdoor/Grass)
- 1983 (1) Newport (w/Fitzgerald, Outdoor/Grass)
- 1982 (1) Chicago-2 WCT (w/Amritraj, Indoor/Carpet)
- 1980 (2) Frankfurt (w/Smith, Indoor/Carpet), Rotterdam (w/Smith, Indoor/Carpet)
- 1978 (1) Mexico City (w/Amritraj, Indoor/Carpet)
- 1977 (2) London / Queen's Club (w/Amritraj, Outdoor/Grass), Masters Doubles WCT (w/Stockton, Indoor/Carpet)
- 1976 (1) Memphis WCT (w/Amritraj, Indoor/Carpet)
- 1975 (2) Los Angeles (w/Amritraj, Outdoor/Hard), Atlanta WCT (w/Amritraj, Indoor/Carpet)
- 1974 (2) Bombay (w/Amritraj, Outdoor/Clay), Columbus (w/Amritraj, Outdoor/Hard)
- Vijay Amritraj at the Association of Tennis Professionals
- Vijay Amritraj at the Internet Movie Database
- The Hindu : At home on every turf
- Messengers Of Peace- Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
- The Vijay Amritraj Foundation - Official web site
- Look To The Stars
- "Their Akka teaches them to dream big". The Hindu. 2012-02-08.
- Parikrama Humanity Foundation
- Mitra Jyothi
- Mitra Jyothi Wiki
- Naz India
- The Vijay Amritraj Foundation
- Vijay Amritraj at the Davis Cup
- Vijay Amritraj at the Internet Movie Database
- Vijay Armritraj Official Twitter
- bio - file Interview with Vijay Armritraj
|First||ATP Most Improved Player