Indian Tennis Legend Akhtar Ali Passes Away

Akhtar Ali passes away in Kolkata on Sunday at the age of 81

Indian Tennis Legend Akhtar Ali Passes Away
Photo Source - The Hindu

Tennis legend Akhtar Ali, a father figure in Indian tennis, passed away here in the early hours of Sunday following prolonged health issues.

Akhtar was 81 and is survived by his son, current Davis cup coach Zeeshan Aliand two daughters.

His death was confirmed by a source (family) as well as a Bengal Tennis Association official.

“Akhtar Ali passed away at 2:30 AM at his home. He had not been keeping well for the last few months. He was suffering from Parkinson’s disease and other health issues,” said sources – (BTA CEO Sujoy Ghosh).

He was laid to rest at Sola Ana Kabristan, Khidirpur.

Born in July 5, 1939, he was member of the Indian Davis Cup team and captain of Indian Davi’s Cup in 2008. He represented India in eighth Davis Cup tied against Pakistan, Malaysia, Iran Mexico, Japan and Monaco between 1958 and 1964. His last ATP tour outing was against Vijay Amritraj in a clay court match in Bombay on November 11, 1974.

A soft spoken person with a good sense of humor, Akhtar also a national squash champion in 1968- was well known as a coach. He was an advisor to Sania Mirza. He was qualified from the NIS Patiala, International Tennis Federation and the United States Professional Tennis Registry.

He was passionately involved in coaching and organizing events for grassroots players throughout life. For several decades he was associated with coaching at the South club here.

Later he become the coach and influenced many players like Ramesh Krishnan, Vijay Amritraj, Anand amritraj and Leander Paes. He also coached the national teams of Malaysia (1968-70 and 1991-93) and Belgium (1980-84). Akhtar was conferred with Arjuna Award in the year 2000 for his lifetime contribution to the sport of tennis. For all his contribution to the sport and for all he has been to the tennis community in India, he shall be deeply missed.

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