Leander Paes not ready to retire, wants to do well with Indian tennis partner
Paes, who holds the record for most Davis Cup doubles wins with 42 victories (equal to Nicola Pietrangeli), says he has nothing to prove to anyone at this stage of his career. He was dropped by new non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi for the tie against Uzbekistan earlier this year.tennis Updated: Sep 14, 2017 22:05 IST
Leander Paes might have been overlooked from India’s Davis Cup World Group play-off squad against Canada, but the tennis star is in no mood to quit the game as yet.
Paes, who holds the record for the most Davis Cup doubles wins with 42 victories (equal to Nicola Pietrangeli), says he has nothing to prove to anyone at this stage of his career. He was dropped by new non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi for the tie against Uzbekistan earlier this year.
“I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, my career speaks for itself. At this stage I play because I love my tennis. I’m very passionate about being an athlete and the lifestyle it incorporates,” Paes said.
“I’ve done my best when I’ve played for my flag. It gives me great joy and pride to play for my country, city and people. Even when I played individually, like in the Wimbledon I’ve played for my flag.”
Indian tennis partner
Paes, who has won eight doubles and 10 mixed doubles Grand Slam titles, has high hopes with his current men’s doubles partner Purav Raja and said it is special for him to play alongside a countrymate at this stage of his career.
The 44-year-old veteran tennis star is presently languishing at the 62nd spot in world rankings, which is something he is eager to improve.
“I picked up Mahesh (Bhupathi) when he was a young boy and we became world champions. Then Rohan and I did very well in the Davis Cup (against Serbia) where we came back from two sets down to win a five setter,” Paes said.
“We (Purav and I) have played two tournaments together and now we have to work very hard. There are many things we have to work on. Give me five weeks time and I will tell you how good is Purav. I’m doing homework now.
“I’ve three months left to lift my ranking and for me to play with an Indian boy is very special especially at this stage of my career. By November end I will finish my season and then I will see about next year. I really want to do well to get my ranking back on top,” he added.
New mixed doubles partner
Paes said that he will announce a new mixed doubles partner next year in his bid to claim a 19th Grand Slam title.
“I will have a new mixed doubles partner and don’t be surprised of you see me on podium in 2018,” Paes said.
First Published: Sep 14, 2017 19:03 IST