Former Davis Cup coach Akhtar Ali feels Leander Paes' retirement will be a big loss for tennis
What's the story?
Former Indian Davis Cup coach Akhtar Ali has opined that Leander Paes' retirement will be a huge loss for the tennis world as he has done an incredible job in raising the sport's level in India. Besides, Leander's father and former Olympian Vece Peas revealed that the tennis veteran wants to finish on a high at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Davis Cup.
One of India's greatest tennis players, Paes had announced that he would hang up his boots in the year 2020. The doubles specialist has won all the Grand Slams at least once in his career. He achieved the most success at the French Open and US Open as he won the these titles thrice.
The heart of the matter
Speaking to IANS after Paes made the big announcement, Akhtar Ali said:
"He is a wonderful fellow. We all know what he has done for the country. It will be a big loss for tennis."
His father, Vece Paes expressed his views over Leander's decision and told the sources:
"He has been thinking about it for four-five months. He is 46 now. Age is catching up. The Davis Cup is in March. Then there is the Olympics in Tokyo. He wants to represent the country in those two events and give his all. He can then call it a day after playing tennis for 35 years."
Disclosing the reason behind his son's retirement, Vece continued:
"He wants to spend more time with his daughter (Aiyana). So he announced that 2020 will be his last."
Besides, AITA Secretary Hironmoy Chatterjee mentioned that there will be a special ceremony to honor Paes' services. He said:
"I will speak to him. We will definitely do something (to honour him)."
It will be intriguing to see how Leander Paes performs on the tennis court in his final year as a professional.
A profile of the 'living legend' by the official channel of the ATP: