Tennis legend Akhtar Ali, a father figure in Indian tennis, passed away. He represented India in eight Davis Cup ties against Pakistan, Malaysia, Iran, Mexico, Japan and Monaco between 1958 and 1964.
Born on July 5, 1939, Akhtar made his mark in 1955 when he became the National junior champion and reached the junior Wimbledon semifinals. He played alongside stalwarts like Ramanathan Krishnan, Naresh Kumar, Premjit Lall and Jaidip Mukerjea. Akhtar, who was groomed by former Australian Davis Cup coach Harry Hopman, also played in the Wimbledon and French Open grand slam events. He was the winner of the Asian mixed doubles championship. His last ATP tour outing was against Vijay Amritraj in a clay court match in Bombay on November 11, 1974.