Leander is my favourite mixed doubles partner: Martina Navratilova | tennis | Hindustan Times
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Leander is my favourite mixed doubles partner: Martina Navratilova

tennis Updated: Nov 28, 2015 15:57 IST
International Premier Tennis League (IPTL)

Martina Navratilova, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza shake hands at the net after their mixed doubles exhibition match at the DLTA complex in New Delhi on November 27, 2015.(PTI Photo)

Czech tennis legend Martina Navratilova on Friday described India’s multiple Grand Slam winner Leander Paes as her “favourite” mixed doubles partner.

“Of all the mixed doubles partners I played with, Leander is my favourite,” Navratilova said before a mixed doubles exhibition match at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association Stadium, serving as a build-up to the India leg of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) to be played in Delhi on December 10-12.

As partners in mixed doubles, Paes and Navratilova won two Grand Slam mixed doubles titles (2003 Australian Open and 2003 Wimbledon) while finishing runners-up twice (2004 Australian Open and 2005 French Open).

“I have been to Delhi on a few occasions earlier also but I have never played here. Lots of people have come today to watch us play. It is a great feeling,” she said.

The 59-year-old teamed up with Paes on Friday against the Indian team of Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza. The exhibition match ended in a tie with both sides winning a set each. Paes and Navaratilova won the first set 6-2 before Bhupathi and Mirza took the second 7-5.

“We don’t want to have a winner today so the match will end and we will not play the deciding set. Thank you all for coming to watch us play,” Navratilova said, holding a microphone to the loud cheers of a nearly full RK Khanna Stadium.

Paes, who is playing for Japan Warriors in the IPTL this year, said: “I have played with 105 partners in all so far. It is a pleasure to play for my country.”

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