It seems like the stars are especially aligning for Leander Paes, as the veteran tennis player is participating in his final tournament in India. Playing with his Australian partner, Matthew Ebden, Paes has stormed into the finals of the Bengaluru Open ATP Tennis Challenger 2020 after defeating Maharashtra Open finalist duo of Jonathan Erlich/Andrei Vasilevski, 6-4, 3-6, 10-7 in the semi-final.
Perhaps it was only fitting that Paes found his vintage form to showcase in the semi-final clash against Erlich and Vasilevski and make it to the finals for one last time in a tournament in India. With 2020 being the year of his 'One Last Roar' tour, Paes, 46, has decided that Bengaluru Open 2020 will be the last tournament he plays on Indian soil.
The match was quite the thriller as it extended over three gripping sets and went down to the wire. The first set was quickly pocketed by Paes and Ebden 6-4 before the duo of Erlich and Vasilevski, seeded second in the tournament, began to resist and produced some great tennis to bag the second set, 3-6. It all came down to the deciding set which was a nail-biting affair. The 18-time overall Grand Slam Champion, Leander Paes aided his partner, Ebden in some crucial points and paved the way to securing victory, 6-4, 3-6, 10-7.
On Sunday, Leander Paes will be playing his final competitive match on home soil at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association as his long, illustrious and emotional journey in this country comes to a close. Let's hope that Paes, indeed can draw the curtain with a title victory, for one last time in India, in perfect dramatic style.Published 14 Feb 2020, 22:58 IST