India’s all-time greatest tennis star, Leander Paes, added yet another feather to his cap when he became the first Indian to play alongside 100 different doubles partners. The doubles legend reached the milestone during the ongoing Nottingham grass court event on Wednesday, June 24, with Spain’s Marcel Granollers as his doubles partner.
“It’s quite intriguing in an individual sport like tennis to have actually had that many doubles partners. I always try to learn new tricks and keep reinventing myself. It’s been a very blessed journey to go through 25 years and 100 partners,” said the 42-year-old who reached 700 match wins at the recently concluded French Open.
With 15 Grand Slam titles (8 doubles and 7 mixed doubles) under his belt, Paes is a recipient of India’s greatest sporting honour, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, in 1997. He has also been awarded the Arjuna Award in 1990 and the Padma Shri in 2001.
Here is a sneak peak into some of his significant partnerships with legendary players of all time:
Ramesh Krishnan – India (1991-93)
Mahesh Bhupathi – India (1994–2006, 2008, 2009–2011)
Daniel Nestor – Canada (1994, 2013, 2015)
Radek Stepanek – Czech Republic (2004, 2006, 2012-15)
Lukas Dlouhy – Czech Republic (2008-10)
Martina Navratilova – United States of America (2002-05)
Cara Black – Zimbabwe (2008-11)
Martina Hingis – Switzerland (2015)
Leander Paes is one of the greatest and most respected contemporary doubles and mixed doubles players in the world. Needless to say, he continues to inspire a generation of upcoming tennis stalwarts across the world.
(With inputs from agencies)