Doubles specialist Leander Paes recently won his 44th match, competing for India in the Davis Cup tie against a low lying Pakistan. The 1996 Atlanta Olympics bronze medallist in men’s singles, was included in the team after some top notch players like Divij Sharan and Rohan Bopanna made themselves unavailable for the tie. The 46-year-old paired with debutant Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan to register a comprehensive win against a lesser known Pakistani pair to help India register a 4-0 win over the neighbours, who have produced some world class racquet sports players, especially in squash.
Meanwhile, after the dominant victory, Paes has hinted of hanging up his boots to make way for the youngsters. Paes, who will celebrate his 47th birthday next year in June said that he has lived his career and he do not see himself playing past another one year. This also means that he can make his 8th Olympic appearance at 2020 Tokyo, which may be his last appearance for India and the veteran will be hoping to end his journey on a high by clinching another Olympic medal. However, chances of him appearing at the greatest stage of them all looks bleak as he is currently placed at 105nd rank in doubles ranking.
“My experience carries me through now but in the longer run what’s best for the team is that I should not be playing past another year,” Paes was quoted as saying by NDTV.
“I am not going to play much longer, I have had a great 30-year stint in Davis Cup. I have lived my career playing for the country,” he added.
He further said that he will always be available for represent the country. Paes, who has won 18 grand slam titles said that the main objective for Indian tennis should be to nurture the new and upcoming talent.