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Leander Paes shows respect to Mahesh Bhupathi, sets sight on Rio 2016

SENIOR ANALYST
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2.10K   //    10 Jan 2015, 15:54 IST
Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi

Paes shows respect to Bhupathi

Leander Paes got the better of Mahesh Bhupathi in their doubles encounter at the Aircel Chennai Open. There might have been several diferrences and issues between them over the many years in their career. But all that has been put behind as Paes paid his tribute to the man behind the International Premier Tennis League. 

“I have played with and against Hesh for so many years. I have a lot of respect for his tennis. I have a lot of respect for what we achieved together. He hasn’t played and practiced much of late, but still plays really well. He hasn’t had a full season last year, yet he can come out and take the first set. I know exactly where he is going to hit his shots and he knows my game inside out,” Paes said.

Paes targets Rio Olympics

With an excellent start ot the 2015 season, the 41-year-old has now set his sights on the 2016 Olympics in Rio. “It will be great to make it to Rio (de Janeiro) for one more. That is on my mind,” Paes told AFP during the Aircel Chennai Open.

“I am not sure whether I will get there. But I am fit and enjoying my game. There is nothing I need to prove but I am still motivated to play tennis for myself and my country,” he added. 

99 doubles partners 

Paes began the season-opening tournament, teaming up with South African Raven Klaasen. Amazingly Klaasen in Paes’ 99th doubles partner in a career that has spanned over 25 years.

“Ninety-nine is a huge number, but I have shared a wonderful relationship with all my doubles partners. All of them have been such an inspiration,” he said.

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