Leander Paes finds the last piece of the puzzle

first_imgLeander Paes is a content man. Having won his 18th grand slam title and with it a long due mixed doubles career grand slam, the tennis icon is a picture of satisfaction.In an exclusive chat with India Today after his win in Paris, Leander said, “This is the one grand slam that was missing from my showcase and to complete it after so many years after the men’s career grand slam has made it a full career.”But that’s not all. Leander and partner Martina Hingis together have now won all four slams as a team as well, remarkably in just 18 months of their partnership. “Yes Martina and I were playing for this earlier in the week. We kept talking about it that we have only been playing for less than two years and to win three last year was magical.””It’s not easy playing a match like this against friends. Martina and Sania are partners. I have played with Sania also and won Asian Games medal. So it’s not easy but at the end of the day tennis is a professional sport. You give your absolute best. Unfortunately one person has to lose.”Last time they got the better of us at the Australian Open. This time we won in the final. Who knows how many more matches we are going play against each other again? But in my perspective, India is the winner. If Sania and I can keep playing finals like this with our respective partners, India is the better of it.”advertisementTwo weeks short of his 43rd birthday, Leander shows no signs of slowing down. In what has been a tough year, both personally and professionally, he kept his focus on a turn around. Asked what keeps him going after having won all slams in both men’s and mixed, and with an Olympic medal to boot, he said, “I play for passion. My fans have been great over the last two decades and it’s fun everytime I go out. Even today one guy called out ‘c’mon old man’ and it’s so fun and humurous. So for all those forty something’s out there I just want prove that age I just a number. That’s my motivation.”last_img read more