What's the story?
The Australian Open 2018 has been a roller-coaster ride so far with plenty of topsy-turvy results along the way. The thrills and spills of the singles and doubles ties have gripped the fans in the opening week of the tournament.
Indian fans also have a lot to look forward to as veteran Leander Paes in up and running again. He overcame the odds along with his partner Purav Raja as the unseeded pair beat the fifth-seeded pairing of Bruno Soares and Jamie Murray 7-6, 5-7, 7-6 in a pulsating second-round clash in Melbourne on Saturday. After the victory, Paes took to Twitter and highlighted the need to be positive even while facing severe criticism.
In case you didn't know...
Leander Paes is a bonafide legend of doubles tennis with title triumphs at all four majors. He has also been conferred with the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan for his tremendous achievements in the field of sports. At the age of 44 years, he continues to battle at the highest level.
The heart of the matter
Incidentally, a number of critics have time and again said that the veteran is in no condition to compete at his age. Furthermore, the volatile relationship between Paes and the All India Tennis Association (AITA) has been a topic of discussion in recent times.
The legendary tennis player also had a fall out with his former doubles partner Mahesh Bhupathi which further raised questions about his state of mind going into major tournaments. The multiple-time champion, however, appears to have silenced the doubters and it doesn't require any rocket science to understand that Paes' tweet was a sly dig at his critics.
Paes and Raja will next face the eleventh-seeded pairing of Juan-Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the round of 16 at the Australian Open.
The fact that Paes is performing so well even at this stage of his career shows why he is considered a legend. The tennis maestro has surely done enough to prove that 'age is just a number' for him.