Twenty years on the pro circuit and 12 Grand Slams later, there are still moments when Leander Paes feels the sense of “unfinished business.” Having aggravated his back injury during the men’s doubles quarterfinals (with Mahesh Bhupathi), the 38-year-old had to pull out of the mixed doubles semifinals at the US Open.
“I don’t think it has ever happened (withdrawing mid-way during a tournament) during these 20 years,” Paes said in Mumbai on Tuesday. “I have absolutely no trouble with my back now. I am back in training.
In fact, I would’ve been playing in Kuala Lumpur (ATP event) but Hesh has hurt his knee. But we are looking forward to the rest of the season; after what happened at US Open, I feel like there’s a little bit of unfinished business.” Paes-Bhupathi, who had picked up the Cincinnati Masters title going into the Open, lost 4-6, 6-7 (4) to Polish pair of Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski in New York.
Injuries and ailments were the story of the tournament at the US Open this time, and while Paes blames the long season for the breakdowns, he believes players need to be smart about their tournament schedules.