Express News Service
CHENNAI: This yr was purported to be Leander Paes’ swansong, a last Indian summer season earlier than hanging up his racquet. The coronavirus pandemic put paid to that because it burned down the tennis calendar.
Even as he’s waiting for 2021 and the tantalising promise of 1 final dance with the game he has embellished for over three a long time, the 47-year-old, in a brief interview to The New Indian Express, seems again at his trophy-filled profession by way of the prism of his companions and one legacy of his that can stand the take a look at of time — an Olympic medal at a time when India used to go the Games not hoping for one.
When you ultimately retire, what’s the one defining legacy that you simply want to be remembered by?
I’m the son of an Olympic champion (his father, Vece, gained bronze in hockey on the 1972 Games). And I’m an Olympic child, I used to be conceived on the 1972 Games when each my father and mom have been in Munich. As an Olympic child, I’m extraordinarily proud to have performed in seven consecutive Games. But I believe standing on the rostrum in Atalanta (he gained bronze in males’s singles on the 1996 Games) and watching the Indian flag go up is the one defining second I want to be remembered by… because the true son of the soil.
You have performed with over a 100 companions. Who could be in your high 5 in women and men?
You have gotten to have Purav Raja in there, proper? We beat the second seeds on the Australian Open after we performed collectively, I really like serving to him along with his profession. We additionally performed the Davis Cup collectively. Then, there’s Radek Stepanek, Mahesh Bhupathi, Martin Damm, Martina Navratilova, Martina Hingis, Cara Black, Lisa Raymond to call just a few… you realize each single one among my 164 companions has taught me one thing. They have taught me about life, the ups and downs tennis… if you end up that intimate with one other human being on a courtroom when the entire world is watching you, you get to study the strengths and weaknesses of individuals. You get to construct an awesome bond with them. For me, I’ve been very blessed to have nice companions all through my profession.
Watch Leander Paes on Chai with Raja on 17th October at 7:00 pm on Sony Six.