INTERNATIONAL TENNIS ADMINISTRATOR
AJAY PATHAK 1948 - 2012
"At the end of the day when the last serve had been tossed, tennis as a sport inclusive in its nature, must always be meant to promote social cohesion among people developing lifetime friendships." AP
Ajay Pathak, beloved friend and long time international tennis administrator passed away last Tuesday, September 18, 2012, in the Philippines at the age of 64.
Ajay served in the International Tennis Federation junior committee and Asian Tennis Federation executive board where he contributed to the tennis development in Asia spanning over 30
A tireless volunteer , Pathak helped organize numerous international events such as the Olympics, Davis Cup, Asian and Southeast Asian Games including International Tennis Federation (ITF) professional and junior tournaments.
Ajay was the ever-present elder-advisor, on-and off-the-court mentor to developing young tennis players and their guardians during tournaments earning the name “Uncle A.J.”.
Based in Manila, India-born Ajay also served as the Philippine Tennis Association vice-president and Davis Cup administrator working closely with past presidents Salvador Andrada, Luis Mendoza, Manuel D. Misa, Julito Villanueva, and long-time patron Oscar Hilado of PHINMA.
Together they established the now famous Mitsubishi Lancer ITF Goup 1 Junior Championships - one of the longest-running sponsored junior event by a car manufacturer in the world. Ajay served as the tournament director.
The annual April youth tennis fest produced international tennis stars such as Leander Paes, Paradorn Schrichapan, Mahesh Bhupati, Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick (’97). He also directed ITF-WTA-ATP Challengers events which saw Asian Games and ATP stars Cecil Mamiit, Eric Taino, and Hyung Taik Lee (’96) during early stages of their careers -
The competition programs he directed also developed Philippine junior, men's, women's champions Maricris Fernandez, Marisue Jacutin, Raymund Suarez, Rod Rafael, Tonito Payumo, Michael Misa, Robert Angelo, Alexander Toledo, Camoy Palahang, Joseph Lizardo, Felix Barrientos, Roland So, Randy Villanueva among many others.
Almost self-less to a fault and possessing a Gandhian-like attitude, Ajay wrote in his news columns always insisting that:
"At the end of the day when the last serve had been tossed, tennis as a sport inclusive in its nature, must always be meant to promote social cohesion among people developing lifetime friendships."
Those who know Ajay will agree on this fitting tribute:
"No man's life can be encompassed in one telling. There is no way to give each year its allotted weight, to include each event, each person who helped to shape a lifetime. What can be done is to be faithful in spirit to the record and to try to find one's way to the heart of the man..."
- by the filmmakers of 'Gandhi' directed by Sir Richard Attenborough.
Ajay is survived by his wife Nadia, and children Philip and Em-Em.
Will miss you friend,
Ajay lies in state at the Arlington Memorial Chapel, Manila until Sept. 22. A necrological service will be held Saturday at 7 p.m. Cremation will be on Sunday. Philta president Rep. Edwin Olivarez, former Philta head and PSC commissioner Buddy Andrada, Philta secretary general Romeo Magat, Phinma Group of Companies chief Oscar Hilado and national player Francis Casey Alcantara will lead the necrological rites.
Friends and colleagues of Ajay may write a testimonial on the comment page below: