Vastavam web: He might have been overlooked from India’s Davis Cup squad, but tennis great Leander Paes is no mood to quit the game as yet.Paes said he has nothing to prove to anyone at this stage of his career.Paes, who made his Davis Cup debut at the age of 16 in 1990 and holds the record for the most Davis Cup doubles wins with 42 victories (equal to Nicola Pietrangeli), was dropped by new non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi for the tie against Uzbekistan earlier this year.
But despite the snub by his one-time partner, the 44- year-old veteran has not lost hope and by his own admission, he is still playing the game for the love of it.”On a global stage you always want to see your flag fly high. You speak about your country. I’ve been very blessed, I’ve had a long career and now I play with a lot of passion,’ he added.Paes, who has won eight doubles and 10 mixed doubles Grand Slam titles, has high hopes with his current men’s doubles partner Purav Raja and said it is special for him to play along side a countrymate at this stage of his career.
The 44-year-old veteran tennis star is presently languishing at the 62nd spot in world rankings, which is something he is eager to improve.”I’ve three months left to lift my ranking and for me to play with an Indian boy is very special especially at this stage of my career. By November end I will finish my season and then I will see about next year. I really want to do well to get my ranking back on top,” he added.Talking about his future plans, Paes said that he will announce a new mixed doubles partner next year in his bid to claim a 19th Grand Slam title.
“I will have a new mixed doubles partner and don’t be surprised of you see me on podium in 2018,” Paes said at the launch of Senco Gold’s new platinum collection ahead of the Durga Puja festival season.”Didi has done a phenomenal job with the Salt Lake Stadium. It looks fantastic, the greenery, the shine. It has become the pride of Kolkata now,” he said.Paes’ father Dr Vece Paes is also part of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.”Football in Kolkata is huge, the passion here is fantastic. My father is working hard in providing medical security at the stadium,” he said.