Amritraj has an almost classic tennis build, 6'3" and 158 pounds, a little thin, perhaps, but that will change. His serve is strong and he covers the court well, hitting ground strokes that are already among the hardest in the game. He has that nervelessness that accompanies youth, the ability to hit the same shot no matter if it is match point for or against him. He lost to Ken Rosewall at Forest Hills, but not because he was up against a tennis legend in front of a large crowd on center court. Rosewall was merely better. In fact, as shot after shot whistled by him, kicking up chalk, Vijay would look over to where Anand was sitting and smile delightedly, as if to say, "Isn't that great, Rosewall is just as wonderful as we always heard he was."
U.S. Open champion John Newcombe thinks Amritraj may already be the best young player in tennis. "When I played our Davis Cup match in Madras in May," he recalled at Forest Hills, "it was something like 130� on the court. Here we were, Vijay and I, in a 10,000-seat Davis Cup stadium that literally had been made out of bamboo and string and put up in 17 days. It was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen. We quit after a set each, and I remember thinking how uncommonly tough he was then. But after watching him play here at Forest Hills I feel he has the least amount of shots to improve among the young players. Borg and Connors, for example, still have weaknesses they need to work on, but Vijay gets to the ball very early with his long strides and good reach. If you're not careful with his powerful strokes, he'll knock the ball by you before you can get into position."
Success has already complicated the lives of Vijay and Anand, who fell only a tie-breaker point short of making the semifinals in doubles at Forest Hills. There are no endorsement offers as yet, but Vijay has agreed to switch from Slazenger to a Rawlings racket because they offered to pay him more. (Anand will, too, but he feels he is worth more than he is getting.) Winning the Volvo in New Hampshire meant that Vijay had to negotiate with the Indian government to relax its prohibitive import duty on automobiles (160% of cost) on the grounds that it was a prize and not purchased. Chances are that will be settled favorably, but he will continually have to contend with India's restrictive economic policies.
"Any money you take into India—dollars or pounds, for example—must be declared and then changed into rupees," he explains. "You are not allowed to take many rupees out of the country or to have a foreign bank account. So it is one thing to be rich inside India and another to be rich outside."
Eventually, Vijay would like to play the WCT tour, whether the India Lawn Tennis Federation likes it or not. He would be a stimulating addition to the tour. In Hindi, by the way, his first name means "victory."