What’s the story?The great Indian tennis sensation Leander Paes played his last match on home soil at the Bengaluru open on Saturday. The duo of Purav Rajaand and Ramkumar Ramananthan defeated the 46-year-old doubles legend and his Australian partner Mathew Ebden in the men’s doubles final on Saturday. It is unfortunate that the legend did not end up on the winning side in the final match in his home country but he takes it on a positive note.
He was quoted as saying,
"When you get to the finish line, it's nice to there at the top. I don't want to retire when people are saying get out of the way... to finish, to get to the finish line, to get there with trophies in hand, that's pretty special. Pete Sampras retired when he was right at the top, Michael Jordan retired when he's right at the top."
In case you did not know.
In 1996, Paes won an individual Olympic medal in men's singles to become the first Indian to do so in 44 years. He remained at the top of the doubles rankings for 39 weeks, won 18 Grand Slam double titles apart from the bronze medal at the Atlanta Games. His accomplishments and records against some of the world’s top tennis players, have given some of the most iconic moments to India’s sporting history.
Heart of the matter
Paes, who lost the final of the men’s doubles open in his home soil on Saturday, is proud of his achievements throughout his career. He summed it up by saying that his tennis journey was a 'very well run' one.
Leander Paes, who broke down after his final match in India, left millions of his fans including children inspired by his tennis. He is a strong contender for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He plans to wind up this 30-year long career by the end of the year.
Published 17 Feb 2020, 01:11 IST