Leander does it again!

7 Jun

leander-lucasAs majority of Indian sport lovers had their eyes fixed on the India Bangladesh T20 match, Leander Paes quietly won the French Open doubles title with his Czech partner Lukas Dlouhy.

The third seeded Indo-Czech pair defeated the giant-killing South African-Belgian pair 3-6 6-3 6-2 to win their first Grand Slam title together and Leander’s ninth. After losing the first set, Paes and Dlouhy staged a brilliant comeback and completely overwhelmed Moodie-Norman, who had upset second seeded Americans Mike and Bob Bryan in the semifinals.

Leander and Dlouhy had famous supporters in Microsoft founder Bill Gates and former tennis player Martina Navratilova at the Roland Garros in Paris.

gates-navratilova

Leander has been one of the finest sportsperson the country has ever produced. A patriot to the core of his heart, he has won forty titles in his tennis career and many memorable moments in Davis Cup where he represented the country.

I personally admire Leander Paes, a sportsman who has always put country before self. He deserves a high place in the list of finest players of the Doubles game from a country obsessed with cricket.

Brief Biography :

Leander Adrian Paes was born on 17th June, 1973 in Calcutta, India as the son of Vece Paes and Jennifer Paes. He belongs to a sports family where his father was a hockey player and his mother was a basket ball player. Vece Paes was a member of the Indian field hockey team which won a bronze medal in the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.

Leander began playing tennis at the age of 5. He captured the 1990 Wimbledon Junior title and was ranked as the No.1 junior player in the world at one time. Since then he has been representing India at various international events winning matches bringing glory to the country. He is also a member of the Davis Cup squad since 1990, compiling a 32-19 career record (21-12 in singles). In 1996 Atlanta Olympics, he won the bronze medal in the Tennis event and made India proud with this individual medal won after a long gap of 44 years. The last individual medal being the wrestling medal won by K.D Jadhav in1952 Helsinki Olympics.

He teamed up with Mahesh Bhupathi to form the Indian doubles team and the duo in 1999, showed their class by winning the French Open and Wimbledon and entering the finals of the two other Grand Slam Tournaments; the Australian and US Opens. But the dream team separated soon after, due to mutual misunderstanding. They came together again in time for the Sydney Olympics and started regaining their lost prestige at the end of 2000, winning the Men’s Double title in Japan Open 2000 followed by Worlds Doubles Championship in Bangalore, Verizon Atlanta Challenge, US Clay court Championship in Houston and at Roland Garros defeating the Czech pair of Petr Pala and Pavel Vizner, ranked no. 2 in the world.

He is married to Rhea Pillai and they have a daughter named Aiyana Paes. He is also the recipient of India’s highest sporting honour, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 1996–1997 and the Padmashri award in 2001 for his contribution to Tennis in India.


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