Aug 20, 2004 12:59 PM IST

The doubles duo has a fair chance of winning an Olympic gold.

Leander Paes
Date of birth: June 17, 1973
Event: Doubles
First Olympics appearance: 1996 Atlanta Olympics
Records at Olympics: Bronze (1996 Singles)
Achievements: 1999 - Aus Open (runners up), French Open (won), Wimbledon (won), US Open (runners up)

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HT Image

Mahesh Bhupathi
Date of birth: June 7, 1974
Event: Doubles
First Olympics appearance: -
Records at Olympics: -
Achievements: 1999 - Aus Open (runners up), French Open (won), Wimbledon (won), US Open (runners up); 2001 - French Open (won, mixed doubles), 2002 – US open (won, mixed doubles)

Here’s another medal prospect for India. Despite being on the wrong side of thirty, the doubles duo of Paes and Bhupathi has a fair chance of winning an Olympic gold. As a doubles pair they have a formidable reputation to back them. True, much of their magic has lost its sheen after the pair broke off a few years back they still have it in them to come right back. In a sense they are a dark horse pair at the Athens games. Here’s a sample of what they’ve achieved together.

They first came together in 1995 but hit it big time 1997 onwards winning several tournaments through out the globe. The winning streak reached a crescendo when the duo won the 1999 doubles titles at the French Open and at Wimbledon, and entered the finals of the other Grand Slam events. That year they were ranked world number one but a misunderstanding later that year led to them going their own ways. Earlier, in 1996, Leander won the bronze at the Atlanta games thus accomplishing a long held dream, his father being a former Olympian.

Though Paes and Bhupathi are nowadays pairing with other partners in various international tournaments, they do play together for India in the Davis Cup and Asiad events.

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