It was a memorable evening for the tennis fans as the organisers, particularly the Delhi Gymkhana Club, felicitated the legends of Indian tennis, Jaidip Mukerjea, Vijay Amritraj and Jasjit Singh, on Wednesday.
As is his wont, Vijay regaled the gathering, as he recalled the good old days when he had watched Premjit Lall, Jaidip Mukerjea and Ramanathan Krishnan.
“I watched Premjit being two sets up against Rod Laver in Wimbledon in 1969’’, remembered Vijay.
It was the year when Laver won all the four Grand Slams for the second time in his career after 1962. Jaidip also had interesting things to look back and became quite emotional to miss Akhtar Ali, whose son Zeeshan Ali is the coach of the current Davis Cup team.
Vijay also express the long association with the Krishnan family.
“I played under the captaincy of Ramanathan Krishnan. When I was captain, Ramesh Krishnan played under me. Later, when Ramesh became captain, my son Prakash played in the team’’, said Vijay, recalling the nostalgic association.
Jasjit Singh was also happy about playing his part well to take the team to the Davis Cup final in 1974.
Ramanathan Krishnan could not make it to the function owing to health concern, while Vijay received the award for the late Premjit Lall.
The contribution to the game by Anil Khanna, a pioneer administrator at the national, Asian and international level, was also acknowledged on the occasion, among others.
Later, quite pleased about India playing on grass against Denmark, Vijay said that Indian team would need players in the top-50 or 100 to progress deep in the World Cup of tennis.
He said that the Indian players had tremendous potential and needed to “completely stay focused in singles, to be able to do damage at the world level’’.
Vijay clarified that he did not grudge Ramkumar winning ATP doubles titles this season, as he was earning “his livelihood’’ as a professional.
Captain Rohit Rajpal was elated to have Vijay Amritraj, his first captain, flying from Los Angeles on his request, to be part of the Davis Cup tie that is being hosted in a grand fashion.