Coach and former player Akhtar Ali, who gave Indian tennis stars such as Leander Paes and Sania Mirza, died at the age of 81. He was also instrumental in the success of the country’s first tennis legend Vijay Amritraj. Akhtar Ali was ill for a long time but it was recently revealed that he had cancer. He was hospitalized in Kolkata and returned to his home a few days ago. He breathed his last at two and a half on Sunday morning.
Akhtar Ali Chose Tennis In The Era Of Hockey
Akhtar Ali chose tennis as his sport in the 1950s, when hockey was a hot topic in the country. He earned the name for the first time in the country when the junior reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon. His record in the Davis Cup was excellent. After his retirement, he started training new players. He played the coaches of Ramesh Krishnan, Vijay Amritraj, and Leander Paes. He also trained Sania Mirza in his early years. His son Zeeshan Ali is a former national champion and coach of India’s Davis Cup team.
Leander Paes-Amritraj Achieved Success
After Akhtar Ali, Ramesh Krishnan and Vijay Amritraj took Indian tennis to the international level. Ramesh won the junior title of Wimbledon and French Open in 1979. At the same time, he also became World Number One. Vijay Amritraj achieved success at the international level. His disciple Leander Paes has represented India for three decades and has done many Grand Slams.