Jimmy Connors was a bad loser: Vijay Amritraj
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Jimmy Connors was a bad loser: Vijay Amritraj

Indian tennis icon, Vijay Amritraj, tells us about the edge he has over his Walker, Texas Ranger co-star, Chuck Norris; a super power he wishes he had; his favourite street food and the secret of his sartorial flair.

brunch Updated: Oct 11, 2014 20:19 IST
Rachel Lopez
Rachel Lopez
Hindustan Times

Tennis Player/Actor

Vijay Amritraj


Would you rather interview or be interviewed?
It’s more challenging to be an interviewer.

Three people from history you’d like to interview on your show.
Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II and Muhammad Ali.

Björn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe and Newcombe – which of these have taken losing to you the hardest?
Jimmy Connors.


One big change in international tennis between the ’70s and today.
Tennis continues to change on a decade-to-decade basis.

A contemporary tennis player you wish you could play against.
None, I’m quite content.

Your fondest memory of shooting for Octopussy.
Working with Roger Moore.

You’ve worked on Walker, Texas Ranger. What’s the one thing Chuck Norris cannot do?
He cannot play tennis well!

The best piece of advice you’ve received from someone.
My coach, Gonsalves, advised me to always expect to play better than your best.

Three songs on your iPod.
U2 and any Beatles song.

Five musts in your wardrobe.
A dark jacket, the Indian flag, a pocket square, comfortable shoes and casual flats.

Your favourite street food.
Dosa and idli.

A super power you wish you had.
To eliminate poverty by a wave of my hand.
What does India fail to understand about philanthropy?
It’s difficult to generalise. Every person does his or her contribution to society. Philanthropy can be done in varied ways.

Why should India be proud of her wines?
Because we make good quality Indian wine.

Where do you go to escape fans?
Maui or Goa.

What’s your secret to looking dapper all the time?
I do own a lot of suits. But the secret to looking dapper is more than clothing. It’s more of self-confidence.

What’s the hallmark of a good sportsman be it on or off the court?
To do the best he can in the fairest way possible.


From HT Brunch, October 12

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First Published: Oct 10, 2014 17:40 IST