At 38, there’s nothing old about the fist-pumping, body-slamming champion that is Leander Paes. While most of his contemporaries have either retired or ventured into other businesses, he keeps on winning.
Saturday at Melbourne Park was no different. Paes picked up his first Australian Open men’s doubles crown, with Czech mate Radek Stepanek. But his seventh Grand Slam was extra special — it completed his career slam.
The score line read 7-6, 6-2 at the end of 84 minutes. Amazing, considering the unseeded pair was up against the top-ranked American twins, Bob and Mike Bryan — just a match away from a record 12th Grand Slam.
“They’re going to be tough this year. They will be a top four team and we’ll probably be playing them a lot,” said Bob Bryan.
Going into Saturday’s game, Paes was a three-time Australian Open finalist — losing twice to the Bryan brothers.
More laurels await Paes. On Sunday, the most successful Indian tennis player ever has a shot at the mixed doubles title as he partners Russian Elena Vesnina to take on Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Horia Tecau.