Promoting the Tennis Premier League event, Leander Paes spoke about the need to have more and more Challengers in India. He also spoke about the young guns of the nation. He also added that the more players travel, they will get to play different game styles.
"The more tournaments (Challenger) we have the better," Paes said. "It will be great to have more of them. But at the same time when they travel to Asia, Europe and America that's also great. They get to see those players, like in Europe you have the grass-courters, in America the hard-courters and in Asia you have a mix.
So travelling the world playing, you also get to play against different styles, so your own level improves." Speaking about Sumit Nagal’s performance against Roger Federer at the US Open, he added, "It was a fantastic performance.
I have seen Sumit (Nagal) for many years now. Even before he won the junior Wimbledon doubles, I had worked with him in Canada. I practiced with him in Toronto, worked with him on court”. He further added, "The real challenge for Sumit is going to be to sustain that quality performance.
To qualify for US Open is fantastic, I have been there myself, but to play Roger Federer on the main court is a very daunting task and I thought he handled himself very well." Analysing the singles situation in the country, he said, “What is really needed is the passion and perseverance to keep improving but the real difference between the 100 in the world and top-10 in the world is the physical and mental attributes.
Everybody can hit a serve decently well, everybody can hit a forehand and backhand well but the difference is the confidence in winning, physically and mentally is a big difference." Elaborating on his role in TPL, Paes said: “My role in the league has enhanced every year, my job in the league is to promote it.
As far I am I am concerned, it is my responsibility, having played for 30 years on the tour, to come back and serve the game. This is one such vehicle where I am helping Kunal Thakkur (promoter) to bring in national players, to bring in Davis Cup players, to bring in our international players who are playing on the international circuit — to promote the circuit, to bring in corporate India to come in and help."