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Leander Paes roars again, moves to 4th in all-time list for Davis Cup match wins in his final season on tour

  • Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna keep India's hopes alive in the Davis Cup
ANALYST
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Modified 07 Mar 2020, 22:54 IST
Leander Paes (left) with Rohan Bopanna.
Leander Paes (left) with Rohan Bopanna.

In his final season on tour, 46-year-old Leander Paes combined with Rohan Bopanna to win the 2020 Davis Cup doubles rubber against Croatia.

The Indian duo squandered two match points in the second set before coming back from a set down in the third to beat the Croatian team of Franko Skugor and Mate Pavic, thereby keeping the visitors alive in their Davis Cup qualification tie in Zagreb. In the process, Paes registered a record-extending 44th doubles win, which is two clear of erstwhile leader Nicola Pietrengeli of Italy.

Having made his Davis Cup debut exactly three decades ago, Paes has participated in 57 Davis Cup ties, compiling a combined win-loss record of 92-35 in singles and doubles play in the premier team competition.

In what is likely to be his final Davis Cup tie for India unless the visitors complete an unlikely come-from-behind upset over the much-fancied Croatia, Paes' doubles win with Bopanna moves him level in fourth place with Spanish legend Manuel Santana (92-28) in the all-time Davis Cup wins leaderboard.

Paes, who has a 48-22 record in singles, is now 44-13 in doubles, winning 25 of his doubles matches with Mahesh Bhupathi. This makes the duo of Paes and Bhupathi the fourth most successful doubles pair in Davis Cup history, behind the all-time leading trio of Nicola Pietrengeli-Orlando Sirola (34-8) of Italy, Ilie Nastase-Ion Tiriac (27-7) for Romania, and Khalid Al Nabhani-Mohammed Al Nabhani (26-11) for Oman.

However, in terms of success rate, Paes-Bhupathi (25-2; 92.5%) is the most successful pair in Davis Cup history among all pairs to have played over 18 matches in the competition.

The 1996 Atlanta Olympics singles bronze medallist is in his final season on tour, having made an announcement at the start of the season that 2020 would be his 31st and final season on tour.

Published 07 Mar 2020, 22:54 IST
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