The former tennis legend Akhtar Ali has died last night in Kolkata. He was 81 years old. He had been suffering from various problems due to old age for some time. He was hospitalized due to illness. He was released from the hospital yesterday and went to his daughter's house. He died in the middle of the night.
The legendary tennis player Akhtar Ali. Source: Indiablooms
Akhtar Ali, a son of Calcutta, was a regular member of the Indian Davis Cup in the fifties and sixties. He has significant remarks leading India to a 9-2 win in the Davis Cup, with a record of defeat in his possession. Akhtar Ali had a comfortable range in both singles and doubles formats for India. He has also played with other Indian tennis stars like Ramanathan Krishnan, Naresh Kumar, Premjit Lal, Joydeep Mukherjee.
Even after leaving the game, he was deeply involved in tennis. He used to help tennis stars like Ramesh Krishnan, Vijay Amritraj, Leander Paes. He had an important role in teaching elementary tennis to the stars like Sania Mirza, Somdev Devvarman. Akhtar Ali's son Zeeshan Ali is also a well-known name in the national tennis circuit. Zeeshan has also been the national champion and coach of the Indian Davis Cup team.
News of Akhtar Ali's death casts a shadow of mourning over the Indian tennis court. Vijay Amritraj and Somdev Devvarman expressed their condolences on Twitter.
“Akhtar Ali was terrific as a coach both when I was a junior as well as coach of our India Davis Cup team. Always pushed hard n kept the team relaxed. He did great service to Indian Tennis. RIP dear Akhtar. Sincere condolences to Zeeshan n his lovely family,” the tennis star Vijay Amritraj tweeted.
“One of the first times I threw up during practice was with Akhtar sir at the South club in the summer of 1999. He always gave it his best and taught us to do the same. RIP Akhtar Ali, a legend of Indian tennis,” the legendary player Somdev Devvarman tweeted.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has sent condolences on social media. "Saddened to hear about the passing of Akhtar Ali, a true tennis legend. ‘Akhtar Sir' coached many of India’s tennis champions. We conferred Bengal’s highest sporting award on him in 2015. I was fortunate to always receive his warm affection. Condolences to his family and admirers", CM Banerjee tweeted.