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  Sports   Tennis  02 Jan 2017  I am playing for fun now, says Leander Paes

I am playing for fun now, says Leander Paes

Published : Jan 2, 2017, 2:11 am IST
Updated : Jan 2, 2017, 6:31 am IST

Paes would be playing in the Chennai Open alongside Brazilain Andre Sa, his 116th doubles partner.

Leander Paes
 Leander Paes

Chennai: Leander Paes is under no illusion. One of the greatest doubles players of all time with 18 grand slam titles (10 mixed doubles and eight doubles) under his belt, Paes said he was at the fag end of his career and helping the younger generation realise their dream was high on his agenda.

“At 43 I’m blessed to be playing at this level because most doubles players retire when they are 28-29. I have to thank my whole team who will help me with the last few months of my tennis career and post tennis career. It is the time right now to do something other than winning titles. I would like to create someone who is winning for the first time. I play for fun now because I’m very passionate about the game. There will come a point when the curtain comes down,” said Paes ahead of the Chennai Open 2017.

Paes would be playing in the Chennai Open alongside Brazilain Andre Sa, his 116th doubles partner.

“Andre and I will play here after which we go to Auckland and later the Australian Open. Hopefully we have a few good results to keep the partnership growing, at least for a few more months if not for the whole season. Any new partnership takes some time to build,” said the 43-year-old.

The Indian Davis Cup team would have a new captain, Mahesh Bhupathi, after their tie against New Zealand in February. Paes knows Bhupathi too well. “With the credentials he has I think he deserves his spot there. In the doubles game he brings a lot in terms of communication and technical skills. I would also like to say thank you to Anand Amritraj who has guided us till now,” Paes said.

Paes said it has been quite a few years since he played in Chennai, having grown up playing the sport here. “I’m very familiar with the court here. The weather is a bit different this time; it is a bit windy which takes time to get used to,” he added.

According to Paes, he was eager to partner Saketh Myneni but the top-ranked Indian was more focused on his singles game. “I threw him an offer in Chandigarh last year during the Davis Cup. Saketh is the kind of player I look to partner with. He has got a big serve, a good backhand and covers the net well. But his priority is singles now,” the multiple grand slam champion said.

Tags: leander paes, chennai open, mahesh bhupathi