Leander Paes, 47, is hoping to play at the French Open, Wimbledon and the Olympics this year. However, the highly-accomplished Indian doubles specialist feels only the best players should be allowed to represent their countries at the Olympics.
Paes has won both men's and mixed doubles titles at the French Open and Wimbledon. “I am aware of the French Open, the Wimbledon and also the Olympics. The three big ones in the near future and that's what I will be focusing on," Paes said, per PTI.
The Tokyo Olympics were scheduled to take place last year but they were postponed for 2021 due to COVID-19. “I have always been a patriot and believe that the only best players should represent the country,” Paes said while referring to the Olympics.
Paes took a complete break from the game during the pandemic
"By the end of 2019, I was jaded and tired from all the travelling and playing at the highest level. The enforced lockdown helped me spend quality time with my dad, my mom, my daughter and I was rejuvenated,” said Paes.
“I have begun training hard, back to my diet and have lost 6 kgs in three weeks. I am getting back into my rhythm.' ' Nowadays, Paes is the co-owner of Mumbai Leon Army in the Tennis Premier League and he is also mentoring players at the event.
''Besides providing a much needed platform for our players to showcase their talent, the TPL also brings an entire community together, with the owners, celebrities, sponsors, mentors, coaches and players, which is so important for a sport to grow,” Paes said.
During his interview, Paes also mentioned he would not be surprised if Rafael Nadal won the upcoming French Open and captured a record 21st Grand Slam title. However, Paes expects 18-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic to end up with the most Majors as he added: ''my champion (Novak) Djokovic would better all records.' ' Djokovic will be aiming to prevent Nadal from winning the French Open and capture his second title at Roland Garros.