Name of the sportsperson: Vijay Amritraj
Discipline: Former Indian Tennis Player, Sports Commentator and actor
Date of Birth: December 14, 1953
• Padma Shri 1983
• Amritraj was the captain of the Indian Davis Cup for much of the late 1970s and 1980s
• Entered the finals of the 2008 Wimbledon Sr. Invitation Gentlemen's Doubles, partnering Gene Mayer. They were seeded number 1.
• He compiled a career singles win-lose 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.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.
Amritraj 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 semi-finalists in the Wimbledon men's doubles.
After playing his first grand prix event in 1970, Amritraj achieved his first significant success in singles in 1973 when he reached the quarter-final stage at two Grand Slam events. 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.
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.
Vijay also had a brief acting career, perhaps his most notable appearance being as MI6 agent Vijay in the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy. He also appeared in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home as a starship captain.
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 defenceless and innocent victims of disease, tragedy and circumstance in India. 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. He compiled a career singles win-lose record 384-296, winning 16 singles titles to go along with 13 in doubles.
Amritraj lives in California with wife Shyamala, who is Sri Lankan Tamil, and sons Prakash Amritraj and Vikram.