Vijay Amritraj thread

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Vijay Amritraj thread

Postby PKBasu » Thu Mar 03, 2005 7:31 am

The greatest Indian tennis player of the professional era, Vijay Amritraj is really a multi-faceted personality who put India on the international tennis map in the Open era. Not just with his tennis, but also with the easy charm of his personality (for several months in the late-1970s, he dated Farrah-Fawcett, one of the original supermodels and a star of the original "Charlie's Angels" on TV). In the 1980s, Vijay acted (in a rather tacky role, unfortunately) in the James Bond movie, Octopussy. Vijay also played tennis with US Secretary of State George Schultz and then-VP George HW Bush, using that entree to conduct diplomacy on India's behalf. And of course, he was President of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for several years, and is an accomplished TV commentator today.

But of course he also had some great tennis accomplishments. He made the US Open and Wimbledon quarter-finals in 1973 (when he was not quite 20; the Wimbledon draw was depleted by the withdrawal of 18 of the top-20, but the US Open was an authentic full-scale event; he was beaten in the QF by Ken Rosewall, the man with the greatest backhand of all time -- partly because Vijay failed to heed Pancho Gonzalez' advice to hit exclusively to Rosewall's forehand... :) ). In 1981, he made the quarter-finals at Wimbledon again, losing an epic 5-setter to Jimmy Connors that many of us remember with a keen sense of what might-have-been. He had a similarly heart-breaking loss to Bjorn Borg in the second round at Wimbledon in 1979 (Vijay had numerous match-points in the 4th set, but Borg held on and went onto his 4th consecutive title).
In fact, in 1973 Tennis magazine hailed Amritraj, Borg and Connors as the "ABC" of tennis' future. Sadly, "A" was the only one who didn't quite live up to the early potential, reaching a career-high of #16, winning 16 titles (including 4 Indian Opens, and 2 Newport titles) but never making it past the QF of a Slam. But Vijay had a very respectable 5-6 career record against his contemporary Connors (although Jimmy won all 3 of their encounters in the Slams!); most memorable of Vijay's wins over Connors was in the final at the Volvo international in Bretton Woods in 1973 (on clay!). Vijay also beat Borg at the US Open in 1974 (his only win against Bjorn in 4 matches), and had 2 wins in 10 matches against McEnroe. Vijay also had excellent career records against some of the other great players of his day -- 2-1 against Vilas (as he never played Guillermo on clay!!) and 3-4 against Gerulaitis (although, again, he lost to Vitas in both their Slam encounters). Although Rod Laver was approaching the end of his career by the time he played Vijay, Amritraj won both encounters against him (at the R3 of US Open and the QF at Bretton Woods, both in 1973). But Vijay had trouble with Rosewall (although Ken was 19 years older, he beat Vijay the first 6 times they played each other, losing to him just once in 1977, when Rosewall was 43!) and Lendl (0-6).
And, of course, Vijay (along with brother Anand) was the leading member of two Indian Davis Cup teams that made the final -- in 1974 (when we boycotted the South Africans because of apartheid) and 1987, when he was the playing captain.
Vijay has written a wonderfully engaging autobiography (co-authored with Richard Evans) aptly titled "Vijay!". (Bilingual pun clearly intended).

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Hi

Postby Sandeep » Thu Mar 03, 2005 8:14 am

Terrific post PKBASU. You are awesome :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:

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Vijay Amritraj thread

Postby jaydeep » Thu Mar 03, 2005 11:19 am

Thanks PKB for wonderfully written post and reminding us some superb win by Vijay.

Jaydeep.

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Vijay Amritraj thread

Postby jayakris » Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:17 pm

In fact, in 1973 Tennis magazine hailed Amritraj, Borg and Connors as the "ABC" of tennis' future.


If I am not mistaken, this was done by none other than the venerable Bud Collins, the grandfather of tennis correspondents.

Jay

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Vijay Amritraj thread

Postby Rajiv » Sat Mar 05, 2005 3:25 am

vijay unfortunately has a dubious comment against him in the popular tennis book of the 80's , "SHORT CIRCUIT" which gave a ringside view about the duboius going on's on the circuit,
under the chapter of "tanking" he was mentioned to as having tanked a doubles match along with nick saviano as his partner at a tournament in rome italy.

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Vijay Amritraj thread

Postby PKBasu » Sat Mar 05, 2005 4:13 am

In my first post above, I had overlooked a couple of things. Vijay not only made the US Open QF in 1973, but also did so the following year. The reason this had slipped my mind was that he lost to the same person on both occasions: Ken Rosewall (38 years old in 1973, and 39 in 1974 of course!). In fact it was Rosewall who stood in the way of Vijay's progress at Wimbledon in 1974 (in R2). I remember the latter quite vividly, because our junior school headmaster had gone to the trouble of putting together the entire Wimbledon draw, and posted it on the notice-board (he had some of the seedings wrong though, because his chart showed Rosewall seeded 12th, when in fact he was 9th according to the ATP!). That's when my fascination with Rosewall began...(thank you Chris McDonald). Our headmaster was obviously a sports nut like many of us here (although our school tennis courts were really horrible -- "gravel" courts I called them; supposedly hard courts, but with the cement largely eroded to reveal the stones/gravel underneath...any chance I had of becoming a decent player was ruined right there -- apart from lousy temperament!).
To get back to Rosewall vs. Vijay: the good thing about those matches was that Vijay only lost the first of the matches above in straight sets. He did manage to give the old fox more of a fight in their 1974 matches. And, when Rosewall was 43, Vijay finally managed to win the last of their 7 matches on the tour.

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Vijay Amritraj thread

Postby noname101 » Sun Jun 12, 2005 8:18 am

STATUTORY WARNING
if you're a VIJAY AMRITRAJ FAN(if there be such a breed)please leave right now and click on the (X) button on the top right hand corner of the computer screen. some of the messages in this transcript maybe extremely injurious to the viewer depending upon the answer to the question asked in line no. 1. viewer discretion is advised by the producers.
[size=18px]esp. a sense of humor is a must(besides lack of brotherly concern...whatever that may be)[/size]



for several months in the late-1970s, he dated Farrah-Fawcett, one of the original supermodels and a star of the original "Charlie's Angels" on TV)
......i've often heard that Farrah-Fawcett had a lot of problems in her personal life. she was also supposed to have gotten addicted to many prescription drugs. in short - "SHE WAS OUTTA HER DAMN MIND" DATING Vijay amritraj (of all the masculine breed on earth) explains/confirms these rumors about Farrah. :rofl: :rofl: ..........
P.S. : the 70's were also known to be pretty wild....people doing unthinkable, unimaginable, crazy things......many be Farrah was feeling left out and to be part of the mood of the times...dated Vijay amritraj.....juss crazy :rofl:
P.S 2 : pretty gals are also known to be sometimes butt-headed.....that could also suffice as a good explanation :rofl:
Last edited by noname101 on Sun Jun 12, 2005 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Vijay Amritraj thread

Postby PKBasu » Sun Jun 12, 2005 8:24 am

Hey, we can do without this noname weirdo spouting drunken remarks that make absolutely no sense.

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Vijay Amritraj thread

Postby noname101 » Sun Jun 12, 2005 8:49 am

Hey, we can do without this noname weirdo spouting drunken remarks that make absolutely no sense.

well, i'm sure you can. but i'm also sure about another thing....the word "sense" is purely subjective..."in the eyes of the beholder" as they say in english.....what might make sense to one, might not for another. what i call a rose may be a lotus to you or a tulip to my evil twin brother. and believe you me, i've many a times felt that i could do without my evil twin brother as well...but in the words of my good friend(who's name i forgot)...."whats food if it were all sweet".....salt is required for the body,also..isnt it....well DR Bsharma might tell you more on that.
happy sunday,
ciao
P.S. : as always..."no love lost" :) .......gosh am i sayin all this syrupy honey soaked ****.......time for my medications!!!

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Vijay Amritraj thread

Postby paulo_eddie » Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:10 pm

And of course, he was President of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for several years

i might like to bring to note a correction to this post's author that Mr. Vijay Amritraj NEVER held office as ATP President.
He held office as the ATP tour players council president for multiple terms.
PS. Facts should be confirmed before postage.

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Vijay Amritraj thread

Postby arjun2761 » Sun Jun 12, 2005 6:40 pm

paulo_eddie wrote:[PS. Facts should be confirmed before postage.

Is that a postal service rule? :D

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Vijay Amritraj thread

Postby nata » Thu Aug 25, 2005 6:21 am

I'm just watching Bond movie "Octopussy" and Vijay Amrithraj has a small part in it..

The way he introduces himself to Bond is interesting.. Even mentions his name as Vijay, includes that he plays a bit of Tennis too! :)

It was a pleasant surprise for me to watch him in TV when my mind was full of Team India's one of the greatest Tennis days with 6-1 win-loss score for the day!! :)

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Vijay Amritraj thread

Postby arjun2761 » Fri Mar 24, 2006 10:45 pm

Thought I would post a reponse to PKB's post that Ramesh had consistently better record than Vijay (posted in one of the other threads).

The facts are as follows:
Vijay's 9 best successive years (1973+) ended with year end ranks of 30, 40, 26, 31, 46, 58, 34, 20, and 21 (Vijay also had 2 subsequent top 100 years).

Ramesh's 9 best sucessive years (1980+) ended with ranks of 53, 66, 100, 84, 24, 40, 35, 58, and 40 (Ramesh also had 2 futher top 100 years).

Based on this Vijay had better rankings in 7 of these 9 years (although they are time shifted). Vijay was in the 4 top 30 year end rankings against 1 for Ramesh, and 8 top 50's against 4 for Ramesh. Vijay won 16 titles versus 8 for Ramesh. Therefore, while Vijay was the more inconsistent of the two, he was also consistently better than Ramesh over the majority of their respective careers. :D

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Vijay Amritraj thread

Postby PKBasu » Sat Mar 25, 2006 2:19 pm

Thanks for that, Arjun. Vijay had the superior record overall, although that was aided by the fact that there was a boycott in 1973 (enabling him to earn easy points at Wimbledon), and there was an Indian Open throughout his prime -- which was conspicuously absent during Ramesh's prime, depriving him of the opportunity of ever earning any "easy" points/money on tour. (Note that I started this thread by calling Vijay the greatest Indian player in the professional era...!).
In the Slams, Vijay made two QFs each at the US Open and Wimbledon, while Ramesh made two QFs at the US Open but only one at Wimbledon. But, while Vijay seemed to always lose in R2 at Wimbledon apart from those two golden years, Ramesh had several nice R2 wins at Wimbledon (one over sixth-seeded Joakim Nystrom, for instance) that contributed to the sense that he was more consistent. Certainly, when they were both playing together on tour (1981-86) Ramesh was much the more consistent!
Both earned similar amounts on tour -- about US$1.3mn each, a bit more for Vijay (although Vijay earned quite a bit of that in doubles, and Ramesh never did justice to his doubles ability -- except as a veteran, when he won the over-35 doubles title at Wimbledon with Jeremy Bates a few years ago!). They also had a 2-2 record against each other. Vijay won in Bangkok on carpet in 1980 (when Ramesh was just starting out) and on grass at Bristol in 1986, while Ramesh won on clay in Houston (1981) and on hard courts at Cincinnati in 1984.
Oh, how I wish we could have that era back...Vijay beating Laver, Borg, Connors in the same year (1973), Ramesh beating Mayotte, Smid, Mecir, Edberg (on grass!), Gerulaitis, #2 Wilander in another year (1984).

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Vijay Amritraj thread

Postby PKBasu » Sat Jun 24, 2006 7:35 am

Rolex (watches) have done Vijay Amritraj the signal honour of featuring him in their advertisements (which are distinguished by the exclusivity of their choice of sporting spokespersons). Many of the earlier ads have Vijay in cravat or tie in a wood-panelled room. But now with Wimbledon around the corner, they have him talking about Wimbledon, with a very nice reference at the bottom to the fact that he played there for 17 years in a row -- a quite remarkable record of endurance. I remember one year Vijay and Borg were the only pros who refused the ATP's demand to play a minimum number of tournaments (17 I think) during the year -- and so were supposed to be debarred from playing at Wimbledon. Borg was given a wildcard, but Vijay had to play at Roehampton to qualify, which he duly did. Two singles quarterfinals and one doubles semifinal probably did not do justice to Vijay's talent and potential, but he had a wonderfully long uninterrupted run on the hallowed courts.


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