One of the greatest doubles players of all time – Leander Paes is playing a Challenger Event in India and spoke a bit about his dreams and goals. The 43-year-old completed a career Grand Slam in mixed doubles when he won the French Open with Swiss great Martina Hingis early this year. "I have hit all my targets in a tough year.
It's been a rough one. To be able to hit my targets, I am very happy." "Now, I will take a couple of weeks off and spend time with my daughter and dad. Winning 20 Grand Slam titles is my target. Once you keep hitting your goals, there is not much to play for.
You add something," Paes said after winning his first round match in Pune Challenger alongside Ramkumar Ramanathan. In his first appearance in Challenger event since December 1997 when he played in Ahmedabad with Nitten Kirrtane, Paes said picking a partner has become tricky.
"I am looking at a new partner for next year. Twenty looks like a nice number. A lot of jumbling has happened this year as if you look at teams, not one team has dominated. There was a lot of mix-up," he said. I will be going into training for four weeks.
I am a lot fitter than what I was 10 months back," he added. Asked about his decision to play in India in a Challenger, Paes said he wanted to support Indian tournaments. “I am hungry and passionate about tennis.
It's the first time I am playing here. The speed of the court is fantastic. Wherever I am playing, I am looking to entertain people and help out youngsters. I am looking to spread how tennis can be a great profession. To create passion for tennis and if we can do that, a bigger group may be playing tennis in four years.
Maybe in 10 years from now someone could be winning an Olympic medal for India.” "I could have brought any other regular partner with whom I play on the tour. But to support Ram and play with him was great fun. I played with Saketh in the Davis Cup and it would have been great had I got a chance to play with him here or in the future," Paes said.