For people who have not yet watched a certain Indian tennis player in action, it can be said without a shadow of a doubt that they have missed out on witnessing one of the greatest tennis ambassadors to have ever graced the court, says an article in The Times Of India, adding that it can be said with utmost certainty that they have missed out on seeing a person who in the true word is an epitome of patriotism.
“And above all, it can be said with paramount inevitability that they have missed out on witnessing the never-say-die attitude of a true fighter who is always willing to give his 100% even when his body does not allow him to. Behold Leander Paes,” says the article, adding that it's not often that the sporting fraternity gets to comprehend such a player.
“The world has indeed seen its share of tennis legends, but when a phenomenon called Leander Paes walks out, every Indian in the world can stand tall with their heads held up high to cheer a player who has sacrificed his entire life just for the sake of the game. He has indeed given his all and there isn't an iota of doubt in the minds of fans about Leander's willpower, dedication and commitment towards his country,” says the article.
According to an article in Deccan Herald, Leander Paes said age is just a number for him, something that he just “looks at and smiles”.
The 40-year-old partnered Czech Radek Stepanek to win the US Open 2013 men's doubles title, his eighth men's doubles Grand Slam title and 14th overall, after beating Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares 6-1, 6-3 on Saturday. “Today Radek helped me to get to be the oldest man or the oldest tennis player to ever win a Grand Slam in the Open era. I thank him for that, and we are definitely not done. I'm going after 41 now, 42, and then 43,” said Paes after winning the title.
“We both come from humble background and come from countries where tennis wasn't necessarily the number one sport. We both fought against adversity to get to where we are. So age is just a number for us. Age is something that we look at and we smile.
“We chat with you guys and smile about it, because, you know, you guys tease us about it, which is nice. For us, we really take it very seriously to go out and get better every day and to push each other,” he added.
Meanwhile talking to Calcutta Telegraph, Paes said, “My team and Radek Stepanek’s team got together at my favourite Italian restaurant in New York... I won’t reveal the name, for the media will then know where to catch me! The Washington Kastles owner, Mark Ein, was also there. Be it 39 or 40 or 41... All, for me, are numbers... More than age, what matters is the motivation... The mental and physical bit which goes into training... Frankly, I’m fitter today than I was 10 years ago, when I had that illness.” “I’m in good space... I’m contended... Today, I play for myself... Play for the enjoyment,” Paes added.