Indian tennis legend, Leander Paes has been a household name over the last three decades. The swashbuckling tennis player has served the country with great joy and pride. Born to Olympian parents Paes still has the vigour of a teenager and his hunger to win reflects in his style of play.
“You know I am an Olympic kid. My parents were in Munich in 1972 and I was conceived at those games. I was born with this physicality and environment that my parents gave my 2 elder sisters and myself. And to play in the Tokyo Olympics would be a dream and fantastic,” Peas said to the media recently. He had made his Olympic debut way back in 1992 and since then he has not missed any edition of the quadrennial event.
His enthusiasm for the sport is second to none. This is the primary reason why the Atlanta Olympic bronze-medallist is eyeing a record 8th Olympic Games, Tokyo 2020. “More than anything, to bring India its world record of the most number of Olympics ever played in the sport of tennis. I have got that at the moment with 7 Olympics, but to take it up another notch and to represent India in 8 Olympics in a row and make sure that the world record stays at home would be a dream,” he said in a recent media interaction.
At 46, the veteran tennis player has won 18 Grand Slam titles (Eight men’s doubles and 10 mixed doubles). He also holds the record for the highest number of Davis Cup doubles win with 43 victories under his belt. He attributes his success to his mental and physical toughness. Paes believes that mental fitness and mental health is about handling adversity and struggles. In a recent media interaction, he spoke about how mental visualisation helps him to strategize and understand his opponents. Even today when Paes is out on the court with the tennis racquet in his hand one is eager to witness performance reminiscent of his stellar yesteryears when his lightning quick reflexes made him a near-impenetrable force up front.
With the above skills in Leander Paes’ repertoire, who knows he can turn out to be one of India’s knight in shining armour at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.