The 46-year-old Indian doubles Leander Paes was asked what makes him, Roger Federer and other legends keep playing on the professional tour. Paes said: "Passion! When I started playing I had great role models. In my house, I had my mom (Jennifer Paes) and dad (Dr.
Vece Paes) who were both phenomenal athletes, very passionate about their sports and playing for the flag. They played at a time when commerce was not a relevant reason to play sports. They played because they wanted to make sure that the Indian flag was flying high on international shores.
So, I grew up with that around me. So, it’s no wonder that I hold my Olympic medal in singles in Atlanta 1996 and my Davis Cup World record dearest to me. To emulate his father in winning an Olympic medal is the greatest joy a son can have!
After I won in Atlanta, I had to reinvent myself and my goals to win Grand Slams. My focus moved towards doubles as I chose an Indian partner (Mahesh Bhupathi). I wanted to prove that we, Indians, could be world champions. So, all this reinvention is something that we all have tried to do, be it Federer, (Rafael) Nadal, Martina Navratilova, Martina Hingis, Billie Jean King or Andre Agassi. I have had some great role models in terms of partners and I have tried to emulate them."