Vijay Amritraj Biography
Vijay Amritraj is an accomplished Indian sports commentator, actor, and retired professional tennis player who was born on December 14, 1953, in Madras, India.
His parents were Maggie Dhairyam and Robert Amritraj, and he has two brothers, Anand Amritraj and Ashok Amritraj, both of whom were also international tennis players. In 1983, he received India’s fourth-highest civilian honor, the Padma Shri award.
Vijay Amritraj began his tennis career by playing in his first Grand Prix event in 1970. He gained his first success in singles in 1973 when he reached the quarterfinals at two Grand Slam events. He lost in five sets to the eventual champion Jan Kodeš at Wimbledon and later that summer at the US Open, he lost to Ken Rosewall after having beaten Rod Laver two rounds earlier. Amritraj beat 10th seed M Orantes in the second round in the US Open in 1974 before losing to Rosewall in quarterfinals.
In 1979, Vijay Amritraj 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.
Vijay Amritraj was also part of the India Davis Cup team that reached the finals in 1974 and 1987. Throughout his career, he won 16 singles and 13 doubles titles, achieving a career singles win-loss record of 384-296.
Apart from his successful tennis career, Vijay Amritraj is also recognized for his acting career. One of his notable roles was as the MI6 intelligence operative Vijay in the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy. Additionally, he 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, and a guest star on various television shows such as Hart to Hart. He went on to become a sports commentator, has been a judge at the Miss Universe pageant, and has developed a multimedia business. Vijay Amritraj hosts a talk show named Dimensions with Vijay Amritraj broadcast on CNN-IBN.
Amritraj currently resides in Southern California with his wife Shymala, and sons Prakash Amritraj and Vikram. His son Prakash and nephew Stephen Amritraj are also professional tennis players.