Indian doubles tennis ace Leander Paes says his heart goes out to those who have contracted the COVID-19 virus during the Adria Tour, in an interview to The Telegraph.
Leander Paes on the 2020 season and the Adria Tour
In the interview, the 47 year old Paes says, "I am done as far as the 2020 season is concerned.
I am not playing any tournament till the world is safer. When the coronavirus scare started, I was considering going off to the US to train, just in case the Tour would go on. But my father (Dr Vece Paes) told me not to. And I took his advice.
This is a rogue virus. You just don't know what you are up against." Speaking about the recent Adria Tour, Paes says, "Tennis naturally has social distancing, like golf, cycling, badminton among others. But the norms have to be followed very strictly.
You have seen what happened at Novak's (Djokovic) tournament. (Djokovic, Borna Coric, Grigor Dimitrov and Viktor Troicki tested positive after playing at the world No. 1's Adria Tour exhibition tournament.) Though the ATP has issued dates of some tournaments, players are very concerned.
My heart goes out to those who have contracted Covid-19. Tennis is a global sport. There will be people travelling from all over the world. That is tough to control. It is difficult to keep a safety net. Even in your own city, the key is to follow all safety protocols.
Speaking about what he has been doing during the current stay at home period, Paes says, "I am actually enjoying my time away from the tennis circuit. I now have a chance to recharge my batteries. In 95 days, I have done 19 webinars talking about stress, pressure, health, financial stability.
I try to share the tricks I have learnt over the past 30 years. I am trying to share my experience to make another individual the best he/she can possibly be. We don't give much importance to emotional and mental health. We don't address them.
But my family excels in that field. That's why we have achieved what we have in our individual professions. We enhance each other continuously in mental health." Leander Paes is considered as one of the greatest doubles player in the history of the sport and has the record of most doubles wins in the Davis Cup. He has won eight doubles and ten mixed doubles Grand Slam titles.