Leander Paes in action(Getty Images)
Leander Paes in action(Getty Images)

If Tokyo Games don’t happen, won’t wait for next Olympics: Leander Paes

Between 1992 and 2016, Paes has appeared in every Olympics, making him the only Indian to feature in seven Olympic Games.
By hindustantimes.com | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 09, 2020 12:05 AM IST

India’s tennis star Leander Paes has clarified he will not wait another four years to make a record eighth Olympics appearance if the Tokyo Games next year do not take place.

Between 1992 and 2016, Paes has appeared at each Olympic event, making him the only Indian to feature in seven Olympic Games, and with the veteran tennis player announcing that 2020 would be his last year in professional tennis, the 46-year-old was keen to compete at the Tokyo Games, which has moved to 2021.

“If the Tokyo Olympics is cancelled, then I have already played my last Olympics in Rio. I am not going to wait for the next Olympics,” Paes told Purav Raja during an Instagram Live session.

Paes is a winner of 18 Grand Slam titles, of which eight are doubles and ten are mixed doubles titles. During the late 1990s, Paes formed a formidable partnership with Mahesh Bhupathi with both becoming the No. 1-ranked doubles player and winning three Grand Slams together. Later on, with Rohan Bopanna, Paes had several successful matches, most notably in Davis Cup matches, as the two last paired up in March.

“God, Mahesh had a killer backhand as an ad court player. It was world class but if I had to choose between two, I would definitely go for Rohan’s serve. His serve is one of the best I have seen on tour and it’s a weapon,” Paes added.

While Paes has tasted unprecedented success as a double’s player, he has been equally impressive in mixed doubles, getting paired with Martina Hingis of Switzerland and Martina Navratilova of Czechoslovakia.

With Hingis, Paes captured his seventh Grand Slam mixed doubles crown at the 2015 Australian Open and won the mixed doubles championship at Wimbledon 2015. Two months later, Paes won the mixed doubles at the 2015 US Open with Hingis, defeating Sam Querrey and Bethanie Mattek-Sands in three sets. With Navratilova, Paes won the 2003 Wimbledon and Australian Open while finishing runner-up at 2004 Australian Open and 2005 French Open.

“Hingis complemented my style and I could play my natural game with her. She allowed me to be the leader and I could just take over the net. Navratilova, on the other hand, led me through and always guided me. She was the leader in my team,” Paes said of his former doubles partners.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
India's Sania Mirza. File(Getty Images)
India's Sania Mirza. File(Getty Images)

Sania Mirza returns to WTA circuit with win in Doha with Klepac

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 11:15 PM IST
The Indo-Slovenian pair won 6-4 6-7(5) 10-5 against Nadiia Kichenok and Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine in the opening round of the WTA 500 tournament.
Close
Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka: File photo(REUTERS)
Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka: File photo(REUTERS)

After Melbourne loss, Sabalenka vows to be ready for Serena

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 08:48 PM IST
Sabalenka did not drop a set in her first three rounds before going down in three against the 39-year-old American in the fourth last month.
Close
Foreign players pose after their qualifying round matches in Lucknow. HT Photo
Foreign players pose after their qualifying round matches in Lucknow. HT Photo

Saketh Myneni gets top billing for ITF Lucknow event

PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 08:33 PM IST
The 33-year-old Myneni, who won a gold medal in mixed doubles and silver in men’s doubles at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, will start his campaign against qualifier and compatriot Ishaque Eqbal.
Close
File photo ofSwitzerland's Roger Federer.(AP)
File photo ofSwitzerland's Roger Federer.(AP)

Djokovic ties Federer's record for most weeks as world No.1

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 07:42 PM IST
Djokovic's ninth Australian Open title last month guaranteed that he would surpass Federer's record on March 8.
Close
Jennifer Brady: File photo(Twitter)
Jennifer Brady: File photo(Twitter)

Brady loses in 1st match since Australian Open in Doha

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 07:04 PM IST
Brady, who lost to Naomi Osaka in her first major final just over a week ago, made 25 unforced errors against her Estonian opponent.
Close
Poland's Iga Swiatek in action.(REUTERS)
Poland's Iga Swiatek in action.(REUTERS)

Swiatek builds mental strength with Lego

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 05:53 PM IST
The 19-year-old Pole last year became the youngest woman to win the Roland Garros title since Monica Seles in 1992 and on Saturday picked up the second trophy of her career at the Adelaide International.
Close
Argentine Cerundolo wins Cordoba title in first ATP main draw outing(Twitter)
Argentine Cerundolo wins Cordoba title in first ATP main draw outing(Twitter)

Argentine Cerundolo wins Cordoba title in first ATP main draw outing

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 01:34 PM IST
The 19-year-old qualifier beat Spain's world number 47 Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-0 2-6 6-2 in the final of the claycourt tournament.
Close
India's Sania Mirza in action at the 2020 Hobart International. (Getty Images)
India's Sania Mirza in action at the 2020 Hobart International. (Getty Images)

Sania Mirza ready to rebuild after Covid-19 recovery

By Rutvick Mehta, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 08:41 PM IST
  • India’s former world doubles No.1 looks at her season ahead with Tokyo Olympics an added motivation.
Close
Alexei Popyrin of Australia holds the winner's trophy. (Getty Images)
Alexei Popyrin of Australia holds the winner's trophy. (Getty Images)

Popyrin fights back to win maiden ATP title in Singapore

Reuters, Singapore
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 06:10 PM IST
  • Popyrin fired 11 aces and broke serve five times to hand fourth seed Bublik his fourth defeat in a final.
Close
A group of parents had recently approached the All India Tennis Association (AITA), requesting it to stop over-aged players from competing in lower age categories.(PICTURE FOR REPRESENTATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY)
A group of parents had recently approached the All India Tennis Association (AITA), requesting it to stop over-aged players from competing in lower age categories.(PICTURE FOR REPRESENTATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY)

AITA asks age fraud suspects to produce TW3 tests ahead of Nationals

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 12:35 PM IST
A group of parents had recently approached the All India Tennis Association (AITA), requesting it to stop over-aged players from competing in lower age categories.
Close
Poland's Iga Swiatek in action.(REUTERS)
Poland's Iga Swiatek in action.(REUTERS)

French Open winner Swiatek beats Bencic in Adelaide final

AP, Adelaide
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 03:39 PM IST
The 19-year-old Polish player did not drop a set in five matches and lost just 22 games all week.
Close
Gilles Simon(Twitter)
Gilles Simon(Twitter)

French veteran Gilles Simon taking a break from tennis tour

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 08:50 PM IST
The 36-year-old Frenchman wrote on Twitter on Friday that mental health is also a concern.
Close
Poland's Iga Swiatek hits a return against Switzerland's Jil Teichmann during their women's singles semi-final match at the Adelaide International tennis tournament in Adelaide on February 26, 2021. (Photo by Brenton EDWARDS / AFP)(AFP)
Poland's Iga Swiatek hits a return against Switzerland's Jil Teichmann during their women's singles semi-final match at the Adelaide International tennis tournament in Adelaide on February 26, 2021. (Photo by Brenton EDWARDS / AFP)(AFP)

French Open champion Iga Swiatek into WTA Adelaide final

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 03:46 PM IST
The fifth-seeded Swiatek will next play the winner of the semifinal between second-seeded Belinda Bencic and 16-year-old American Coco Gauff.
Close
Tennis - Australian Open - Men's Singles Final - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 21, 2021 Russia’s Daniil Medvedev speaks to the crowd holding the runners up trophy after losing his final match against Serbia's Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake(REUTERS)
Tennis - Australian Open - Men's Singles Final - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 21, 2021 Russia’s Daniil Medvedev speaks to the crowd holding the runners up trophy after losing his final match against Serbia's Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake(REUTERS)

Medvedev gets another shot at No.2 ranking after Nadal pullout

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 01:18 PM IST
Medvedev rose to a career high third in the ATP rankings on Monday after finishing runner-up to world number one Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open. He would have moved above Nadal had he beaten the Serbian.
Close
Argentina's former tennis world number three David Nalbandian
Argentina's former tennis world number three David Nalbandian

Chasing pack need to believe they can topple 'Big Three' - Nalbandian

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 11:31 AM IST
Russian Daniil Medvedev looked closest to ending the Grand Slam hegemony of the 'Big Three' when he cantered into the Australian Open final on a 20-match winning streak that included 12 straight wins over top-10 opponents.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP