18 grand slams. Career grand slams in both men’s doubles and mixed doubles. An olympic bronze. And when he competes in Rio, it will be his 7th olympics. Only tennis player to do so. The famous “90’s kids” know Leander Paes as well as the kids of this decade. He has been there forever, it seems. At 43, he is nowhere close to retiring and will be pairing up with Rohan Bopanna in Rio. Paes remains India’s best hope at olympic glory in both Men’s doubles and Mixed doubles, where he is to partner Sania Mirza.
Paes had had a tough time good partners in recent years and even was a second choice as a partner to Bopanna who had previously called for Saketh Myneni to represent India with him in the courts. His selection was an emotional one and there are still questions hanging around about how the team will perform when clearly both the men have run into a reluctant partnership.
But Paes has overcome odds before, when he went on to win bronze in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics as a singles player. He has then gone on to win ATP tournaments and grand slams all over the world, pairing with the best and competing with the best. He might sport a rank of 46 in the world, let that not fool us for Paes, along with Martina Hingis won the French Open earlier this year and completed a career Grand Slam in mixed doubles. In 2013, Leander Paes became oldest player to win a Grand Slam title, when at 40 years of age he won the US Open doubles title with Radek Stepanek.
Paes is in good form, to say the least and paired with the best India has, he comes off as a serious condender for the Olympics glory.