Leander Paes looking forward to Olympics

Kolkata, Apr 29 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS): Indian Tennis icon Leander Paes said that he is looking forward to play his sixth Olympic next year and also aims to win the doubles medal and add to the tally of his single bronze medal that he had won in the 1996 edition of the Games at Atlanta.
“I will play my sixth Olympic and I am eagerly waiting to play it. I look forward to bring doubles medal beside the single medal to Kolkata,” Paes said on Thursday in a city hotel where he was conferred an award.
He was conferred that ‘YLF Outstanding Young Achievers Award, 2011’, given by the Young Leaders Forum (YLF) of the Indian Chambers of Commerce (ICC). 

The dynamic Indian Tennis star said: “People in Kolkata have given me the strength to live my dream, my father was my best friend and motivator and specifically getting this award at this age need lots of hard work.”

Speaking on his upcoming tournament, he said: “Having won the French Open title in the past I am looking forward to play it.”

“It takes lots of hard work and both Mahesh (Bhupathi) and I have worked hard to adjust and understand ourselves. In our second innings we have taken one tournament at a time,” Paes said on his pairing with Bhupathi.

Paes said that he is blessed to play with wide range of partners in his entire life and has learnt lot of skills from each of them. 

“I am blessed in my career to have played with so many doubles partners and mixed doubles partners. Mahesh plays the best cross court in the entire world.

“Playing with Lukas Dlouhy was so much great he had so much power. While Martina Navratilova has been my favourite partner till date and she has taught me that age is no barrier.
“I learnt skill, fitness and the quality of keeping ones mind young from her. She showed me how to last longer,” Paes said on Thursday. 

Speaking on Olympic that will be held in London in 2012 Leander said that he feels that playing at the grass court of Wimbledon will be an advantage for him during the Games as he had played there lot of time in his career.

“I think it is good to play at the grass court of Wimbledon. Olympic will be on grass court so it will be really good,” he said.

He also mentioned that the senior India sportspersons like Sachin Tendulkar or Mahesh Bhupathi are driven by their mental strength to play such exceptionally well for the country even at this age.

Paes will play at the Spanish and the Italian Open before stepping on to the court for the French Open in the days to come.



Photos Avishek Mitra/IBNS

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