rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Awesome to come back for my sixth Olympics: Paes

Awesome to come back for my sixth Olympics: Paes

Last updated on: July 26, 2012 14:36 IST

Awesome to come back for my sixth Olympics: Paes

     Next

Next
Harish Kotian

Leander Paes has done it all for Indian tennis in a career spanning more than two decades. He won an Olympic medal, countless Grand Slam trophies and guided the national team to some unbelievable victories in the Davis Cup.

But he was literally left to fend for himself and caught in the middle of a selection fiasco that nearly saw him pull out of the Olympic Games.

- London Olympics 2012 - Complete coverage

However, all that seems a thing of the past as Paes, participating in his sixth Olympics, looked as sharp as ever as he trained with his mixed doubles partner Sania Mirza at Wimbledon on Wednesday.

"It's really awesome to come back for my sixth Olympics," he said on Wednesday.


Image: Leander Paes
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma / Reuters

     Next

'I'm really comfortable here'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The Olympic Games will be played on the hallowed grass courts of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon.

The 39-year-old Paes has won 13 Grand Slams so far, including a bronze medal in the singles event at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

He has won four Grand Slams at Wimbledon, including one doubles and three mixed doubles trophies, his latest triumph coming two years back, in 2010.

"I'm really comfortable here. I have won five championships here," he replied, when asked how it feels playing at Wimbledon. 


Image: Leander Paes
Photographs: Matthew Lewis / Getty Images

Prev     Next

'At this point in time I'm here to celebrate with my family'

Prev     More
Prev

More

On turning down the offer to be the Indian flag-bearer at the opening ceremony at Games, on July 27, Paes said: "I don't think it's fair to give it to someone twice."

Paes will partner the lowly-ranked Vishnu Vardhan in the men's doubles after both Rohan Bopanna and Mahesh Bhupathi refused to play with him. Under pressure from all circles, the All India Tennis Association (AITA) fielded two teams in the men's doubles, but paired Paes with Sania in the mixed doubles, ahead of her regular partner Bhupathi.

Paes also refused to look beyond the present and talk about medals. He said he is content playing for his family and enjoying his time at the Olympics.

"At this point in time I'm here to celebrate with my family, as I play for my inner circle."


Image: Leander Paes
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma / Reuters

Prev     More