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Grass boost to Leander’s London Olympic dreams

sports Updated: Apr 28, 2011 23:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Grass has always been his favourite surface and Leander Paes has a chance to realise his unfulfilled Olympics doubles dream on it with Mahesh Bhupathi in London next year.

The tennis event of the 2012 London Olympics will be held on the lawns of Wimbledon. Paes, who won a bronze in singles in the 1996 Atlanta Games, has played in five Olympics.

“I think it really helps,” Paes said about the surface. “I know the lawns very well. The Centre Court and Court Number 2 at Wimbledon are my favourites,” said the man who has four Wimbledon titles, one in men’s doubles with Bhupathi and three in mixed doubles.

Paes and Bhupathi, who have soared to the top of doubles ranking after rejoining forces on the ATP circuit at the start of this year, will then play the Italian Open in Rome as they prepare for the French Open, which they have won twice together. “Getting to No. 1 is not easy thing in tennis, especially when we are playing against guys who are 10-15 years younger than us,” said Paes, who at 37 had a smile on his face when he heard he had been picked for the Young Achiever’s award from the Indian Chamber of Commerce.

“We’ve got certain goals for 2011,” said Paes, who is also looking forward to playing the “new angry young man on the big screen” when he embarks on a career in films some time in the near future.