Vijay Amritraj

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by obsessedtennisfandisorder, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. obsessedtennisfandisorder

    obsessedtennisfandisorder Professional

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    If he had beaten connorsin81? doyou thinkhecouldhave won aslam?

    was he just unlucky tobe era where borg/connors/mac hogging slams?
     
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  2. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    He was a great player! I would say that his best surface was grass, so really Wimbledon was his best chance. He was a serve and volleyer in the classic mold. He had a beautiful game and great form. He was not a great mover though. His 20's were between 1973-1983 and during those years, you had Connors, Ashe, Borg, and McEnroe winning at Wimbledon, so I think you are right, the competition at the very top was just a bit too much. He did push Borg to the brink at the 1979 Wimbledon. He lost to Borg in 1979 (2nd round) and to Connors (QF) in 1981, after having been up 2 sets to love in both matches.
     
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  3. ananda

    ananda Professional

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    He does often bring up the Connors loss. Also, he was outed by Kodes (eventual winner) in '73 WO QF.
     
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  4. juan guzman

    juan guzman Rookie

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    One of the few players to beat Borg Connors and Mcenroe.
     
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  5. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Vijay was soooooo smooth and so elegant a player. He was capable of beating anyone when he was "on" his game. Yes I do think he would have had a shot to win Wimbledon in 1981 but it would have been very tough. If he beat Connors he would have had to face Borg next and if he beat Borg he would have to beat John McEnroe. Yet on grass he would have stood a better chance than most against these guys.
     
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  6. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    Have never seen him, but his best ranking was only no.16. considering that the competiton in tennis was not as tough as today no. 16 was pretty far away from the top.


    seems to me more like a player like santoro who could have an occasional upset against greats but not consistently able to play at the top.
     
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  7. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Number 16 is certainly far from the very top, but in his time, there were a lot of very tough players to try and overcome. The top 10 and top 20 during the late 1970's-early 1980's had plenty of great players. So, the competition was extremely tough. The late 1970's has been termed a Golden Era in tennis, in which the Game reached the heights of its popularity. Tennis has not seen anything like that period since. He played completely different than Santoro, as he had a traditional S&V game, with extremely smooth strokes. As a young player, he along with Borg were considered part of the "new guard" that would challenge for the top by the mid-1970's. He was in a James Bond movie too in the 1980's, where he used his Donnay to hit some bad guys lol. Here's an interview with him.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7ATuS1yUqQ (he talks about visiting Wimbledon for the first time and he idolized Pancho Gonzalez)
     
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  8. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Am/V/Vijay-Amritraj.aspx

    Even at 33 he was near the top 100, so he had a really good career overall. In his prime though, the top 10-top 20 was full of great players (Borg, Connors, McEnroe, Vilas, and Lendl in 1980 when he reached his highest ranking. Yet, he was known to play his best tennis against some of the best players around. He has been a great ambassador for the sport. He operates a charity and is a tennis commentator now. He has beaten Lendl, Wilander, Rosewall, Ashe, Smith, Laver, Borg, Connors, and McEnroe, just to name some of the great players he has wins against.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. sman789

    sman789 Rookie

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    Winning! Hah but really that's an awesome picture.
     
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  10. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    That was a promo shot from the James Bond movie. Amritraj was always a crowd favorite, known to be one of the nicest players on tour. He had great sportmanship and was a total class act. He does a lot of good charity work through his foundation. He now lives in the U.S.. His son and nephew are pro players now. Even Connors was a bit nicer on court when he was playing Amritraj lol..


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. dirtballer

    dirtballer Professional

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    I'm trying to remember - didn't Vijay's character die in Octo*****? Okay, they won't let me use the movie's title. I'll rephrase it. Didn't Vijay's character die in the James Bond movie?
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
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  12. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Yes, I think his character was killed soon after barreling down a road in India where Vijay's character was knocking people out left and right with a Donnay tennis racquet (I think he actually used a Donnay in the movie as a weapon in that scene). Great scene.
     
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  13. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I think I read a story in which a player hoping for an entry to Wimbledon that year if a player withdrew was watching the movie, saw Vijay's character die and yelled something like "I'm in! I'm in.":)

    Didn't Vijay have a duel with some villain with his tennis racquet in that movie? I haven't seen the movie in years.
     
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  14. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    That's hilarious! Yes, you're absolutely right on the movie PC1. He wielded that Donnay like a sabre. I'm going to try and find some clips of his matches and that movie. It has some really funny scenes in it!
     
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  15. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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  16. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
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  17. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    #17
  18. georgerou

    georgerou Banned

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    I laugh everytime I see someone say that "the competitoin was not as tough in the past as it is today." It seems like theres a dope who says that no matter what sport is being talked about.
     
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  19. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    dominikk1985 has no idea about this sport, but it´s not his fault.

    Talking about Vijay,he was quitea rare talent in his time.He had a classic, yet unorthodox S&V play, with a lot of touch shots, very easy backswing that allowed him to play winning points even from the most difficult positions.

    He beat absolutely all of the big names in the game, including Laver and Borg ( 2 of the 4 GOAT candidates).His talent was marvelous and his moods and personality, something seldom seen in the sport.Yes, he got killed by the Afghan mercenaries in the film of Octo*****...but, hey, with a bit of time, he would have taken Roger Moore spot as James Bond...he was that classy guy.
     
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  20. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Hard to say that, if Mac,Borg or Connors weren´t there, Vijay would have, at least a GS title under his belt.I honestly think he could, and his best chance would have been the Australian Open, where not many top players ventured in the 70´s.He could beat Vilas,Gerulaitis or Tanner, who were AO champs in the 70´s, but none of them were much greater talents than Vijay, at his prime.

    Amritraj was one of the best grass courters of the 70´s, having reached the QF at FH twice ( beating a great player like Rosewall) and also reaching the W QF twice ( he beat Borg in one of those W).

    He grew up on grass, and developed the instincts and movements that are of an expert on that surface, such as we know it was on that time ( sliding, fast, not like today).In an era of specialists ( 70´s and 80´s ), he clearly was one of the best on grass.Borg and Connors had to play their best to beat him at a 5 setter at Wimbly; he was one of the 3 players to beat Mac during his magic 84 season ( the other 2 being all timers like Lendl and Wilander)

    Vijay´s only real problem, and may be the reason he never fulfillded his promsies, was he came up a very rich indian family and was never hungry enough to sacrifice anything to the will of winning, as was the case with Borg and Connors, i.e.If he had had the same drive as Bjorn or Jimmy, we could now talk about an all time great.
     
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  21. obsessedtennisfandisorder

    obsessedtennisfandisorder Professional

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    yeah maybe he didn'thave enough mongrel inhim..happy to represnt india and
    the game and many other things rather than singularly winning..
    this interview I got that impression anyway..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7ATuS1yUqQ

    apprecaite all the comments/bondphotos!
     
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  22. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Remember, when he was growing up as a kid, there was no money in tennis - open tennis didn't really happen until 1968 and even then there wasn't a lot of money. It wasn't like today where parents and/or kids expect to be millionaires from it.
    Don't worry, he probably made far more from the movie business than Borg, Connors, or McEnroe did playing tennis.
     
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  23. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

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    so he's a scab?
     
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  24. tennis4josh

    tennis4josh Rookie

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    I can not find any clips of him playing other than the one posted earlier in this thread. If you guys know any or can upload some, that would be really appreciated.
     
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  25. gpt

    gpt Professional

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    In 1974 Vijay was considered to be part of the ABC of the future of tennis. Amitraj Borg Connors
     
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  26. ananda

    ananda Professional

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    Why does that make him a "scab", whatever that means. He's a perfectly decent gentleman. :confused:
     
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  27. gpt

    gpt Professional

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    i think it is in reference to the players boycott of Wimbledon in 1973.

    if Vijay played, then he didn't take part in the boycott
     
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  28. Rorsach

    Rorsach Hall of Fame

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    And still his name sounds dirty.

    I know it's childish, but still....
     
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  29. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

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    Scab is a common term. I'm surprised you haven't heard it. You must be very young and have not worked yet. Or sheltered and ignorant.
    Scab: a worker who refuses to join a labor union or to participate in a union strike, who takes a striking worker's place on the job, or the like.
    A scab is a very low form of life. Maybe someday you'll be unlucky enough to find out from personal experience if/when you lose a strike. Ask anyone working at a grocery store in USA. Ask your grandfather.
    A scab is a person who enables the company to stay in business during a strike and by doing that, the company wins, the employees lose.
    Vijay was one of those people.

    This was a huge deal to the players. Those who played anyway, were disliked and lost respect.
    81 of the top players refused to play Wimbledon in 1973. 13 of the top 16 seeds refused to play including two defending champions. Stan Smith won in 1972 and refused to play in 73. John Newcombe won in 71 and didn't, play 72 (I forget why), so he's in a way a defending champion too.
    Smith, Newcombe, Ashe, Drysdale, most of the big names didn't play. Ilie Nastase is a notable exception and he will always be remembered for it. He says Romania government forced him to. Some Russians said the same thing. Connors and Borg played, but they weren't ATP members and were still unknown.

    in 1973 the men decided to go on strike at Wimbledon to support Nicki Pilic who was suspended for not playing a Davis Cup match. It wasn't about Nicki Pilic though. It was the principal of the thing. The players wanted to play when and where they wanted. Open tennis was only 6 years old and it goes back to pre Open problems when each countries tennis organizations forced players to play certain tournaments. ALL the old US players talk about this in their books.
     
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  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Vijay was raised in apretty rich indian familiy with traditional values.Never had to worry about the money, and that let us enjoy such a relaxed and funny to watch player.Very fortunately.
     
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  31. Rorsach

    Rorsach Hall of Fame

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    Oopsie. Ananda just let me know you had quoted the wrong post and i took it quite personally.

    Sorry about that.

    ps: It was a quite good rant i had typed up though, too bad i deleted it ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2011
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  32. ananda

    ananda Professional

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    ^^ Cool it, Ror. He was talking 'bout me, and he describes me to a T. :D
     
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  33. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Good point.I think Vijay played his best tennis in 1979-1981, but in 1873-74 he had already upset Ashe,Borg,Laver and Rosewall and, at least on fast grass, his talents seemed above Connors or Borg.
     
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  34. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

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    oops, yes, I was writing about you. Quoted the wrong person. Sorry Rorsach. Also, I should have added or noticed that you ananada were possibly an ESL'er (English second language). No matter what the word is, no matter what country they are in or from, a person who works during a strike is doing an immoral thing
     
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  35. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    "In 1974 Vijay was considered to be part of the ABC of the future of tennis. Amitraj Borg Connors"

    Perhaps in some fantasy of the past. He wasn't ever in the class of those two. Prospects-wise, talent-wise or results-wise. True, I never liked his game. Typical sucky 70s backhand (problems coming over it and unreliable under pressure) and a boring "classic" eastern forehand. Borg was inspiring an entire generation with topspin and Connors had a deadly backhand. Vijay had -- not much game. Eliott Telscher was far more talented. Dick Stockton. Raul Rameriz. Eddie Dibbs. The list goes on and on and on.
     
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  36. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Stop while you're ahead.

    No need to insult children.
     
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  37. ananda

    ananda Professional

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    Oh btw, Vijay is pronounced quite close to "Vee jay" , so its not anywhere close to what you guys were insinuating. (Actually, the "vee" is not stressed, its more like "vidge", and the "y" also pronounced.)

    Most foreign commentators (Brits or Americans) would use the easy way and say "V J", or "veejay".

    I have nothing to say about the strike, I would prefer he spoke for himself, as to why he played.

    I don't know whether the situation can be likened to the boycott of the Olympics in 80 and 84. Britons were given the choice to attend or not, and some did. I would not pass a moral judgment on someone who has not committed a crime, but just did not honor a boycott or strike. He may have had his reasons. Whatever, that's just me, you have a right to your own opinion.
     
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  38. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

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    I have a pretty dirty mind but I can not think of anything dirty about the name or words Vijay Amritraj.
    The 1973 Wimbledon boycott can't be compared to the US 1980 Olympic boycott. I don't remember the 84. USA must have been doing something real bad at the time?
    It's ironic that USA is in Afghanistan now and we boycotted in 1980 because Russia was there back then. Usually an Olympic boycott is about war. Wimbledon 73 was about players having freedom to play where they want. (Nicki Pilic was suspended during Wimbledon for not playing Davis Cup). The ATP decided it's not fair and in order to protect everyone, they boycotted Wimbledon. I've read several books where players talk about this. Kramer, Ashe, etc. wrote about it in their books.
    I don't know what you do for a living. I'm a meat cutter. My job has been greatly affected in a negative way by scabs. If you ever lost a strike because of scabs, you might have a different opinion. When you lose a strike, you can lose health care benefits, pension, wages, vacation (little things like that)
     
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  39. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    "...The 1973 Wimbledon boycott can't be compared to the US 1980 Olympic boycott. I don't remember the 84. USA must have been doing something real bad at the time?
    It's ironic that USA is in Afghanistan now and we boycotted in 1980 because Russia was there back then. Usually an Olympic boycott is about war....

    A teaching moment from wiki : "In response to the American-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, 14 Eastern Bloc countries including the Soviet Union, Cuba and East Germany (but not Romania) boycotted the Games. For differing reasons, Iran and Libya also boycotted. The USSR announced its intention not to participate on May 8, 1984, citing security concerns and "chauvinistic sentiments and an anti-Soviet hysteria being whipped up in the United States.""

    Now back to tennis
     
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  40. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1087817/index.htm (Sept. 1973 SI article on Vijay Amritraj)

     
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  41. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Of all the good 1970´s players, Stockton is the one I can´t really talk about, but I don´t think, talent wise, you can compare a real natural talent like Amritraj to Dibbs and Teltscher: 2 very good backhands, fast legs and great fighting minds , but nothing else ( which isn´t bad, anyhow¡¡¡).

    Ramirez was extremely talented, and was more solid than Vijay.I could accept this name but seldom the other 3 (Dibbs,Teltscher and Stockton).
     
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  42. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Had he taken the AO seriously, he could have very well won it.He was as good as other winners there, at least for a fortnight (Eddo,Tanner,Gerulaitis,Kriek)
     
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  43. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    When I once with Rosewall watched Vijay playing in a senior's doubles, Muscles said:" Great touch player" I had to smile a bit because it came off the mouth of one of the all-time greatest touch players at all and Rosewall had a 6:1 hth against Amritraj...
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
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  44. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Don't forget the 1984 victory over McEnroe

    We can't forget that vijay was one of only 3 men to beat McEnroe in 1984, when john was at his absolute peak. It was in Cincinatti.
     
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  45. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    And Krishnan had so much more touch than Vijay.
     
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  46. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, Vijay scored wins over all his great contemporaries, from Rosewall and Laver to Connors,Borg and Mc Enroe.I think the only big name he didn´t scalp would be Ivan lendl.
     
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  47. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Like his father.But Vijay had a much better mixture of power and touch.
     
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  48. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

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    You read it here
    TWH wouldn't allow me to past Octo***** but I did post the story a while ago
     
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  49. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    OCTO***** has one of the best, if not the best, sound tracks of all James Bond´s films.
     
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  50. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I don´t think there´s ever been, at least in the open ,era a player that has beaten as many all time greats as Vijay did, and still not make it to the top ten.Of course, his tennis was top ten but not his mind and, more than that, his real motivation.
     
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