Tennis

Can’t wait for Wimbledon 2021: Vijay Amritraj

Down memory lane: Vijay Amritraj makes a return against Bjorn Borg at Wimbledon in 1979.

Down memory lane: Vijay Amritraj makes a return against Bjorn Borg at Wimbledon in 1979.  

Vijay Amritraj says a year lost is very valuable to all ranked players

Wimbledon stands out from the other Grand Slams, thanks to its unique blend of tennis and tradition. The atmosphere is so electric and emotional that it brings the best out of every player.

India’s Vijay Amritraj, who has experienced them all for five decades as a player and a commentator, was very disappointed with the cancellation of the 2020 event. “It was expected, of course,” Vijay told The Hindu in an email interview.

“I have been associated with Wimbledon for 50 straight years and always look forward to it with the same enthusiasm as I had in 1969,” said Vijay, a two-time quarterfinalist at The Championships.

Vijay, who is now in the United States, said all ranked players have lost a valuable year. “To the best, it means not having a chance to increase their wins. To the challengers, it means a lost opportunity. To the players who get in regularly, it means lost economic opportunity and points. To the Indian players, only if you have a chance to qualify, it would make a difference.”

He said no sporting event in the world compares to Wimbledon. “For me, along with the Davis Cup, it’s the reason I played for so long. The greatest blessing is to have played there for so many years and also coming close to winning it. It has always been my No. 1 event.”

In 1973, Vijay lost to eventual champion Jan Kodes; in 1981, he suffered a heartbreaking loss, going down to Jimmy Connors after taking the first two sets.

When Vijay visited the All England Club earlier this year, he would not have expected things to pan out this way.

“The majesty of the club and its history gives me goosebumps whenever I visit. Can’t wait for Wimbledon 2021,” said Vijay, who has done TV shows for more than 25 years there.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 8:52:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/cant-wait-for-wimbledon-2021-vijay-amritraj/article31274377.ece

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