leander-paes

Leander Adrian Paes (born 17 June 1973) is an Indian professional tennis player who is considered to be one of the best doubles and mixed doubles players of all time.

He has won eight doubles and ten mixed doubles Grand Slam titles, and is the oldest man to have won a Grand Slam title. He holds a career Grand Slam in men’s doubles and mixed doubles, and achieved the rare men’s doubles/mixed doubles double at the 1999 Wimbledon tournament. His mixed doubles Wimbledon title in 2010 made him the second man (after Rod Laver) to win Wimbledon titles in three decades.

One of the most successful professional Indian tennis players, he has received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, India’s highest sporting honour, in 1996–97; the Arjuna Award in 1990; the Padma Shri award in 2001 and its 3rd Highest Civilian Award the Padma Bhushan in January 2014 for his outstanding contribution to tennis in India.

He won a bronze medal for India in singles in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. He competed in consecutive Olympic appearances from 1992 to 2012, making him the first Indian and only tennis player to compete at six Olympic Games.

He is famous for his several memorable Davis Cup performances and is a former team captain.

He also plays in World TeamTennis for the Washington Kastles, being on the 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 championship teams and was named Male MVP for 2009 and 2011 for all of World Team Tennis.

He is the sports ambassador of the Indian state of Haryana.

Leander was born in Calcutta, India, on 17 June 1973 to a Goan father. Vece Paes and Jennifer Paes were his parents and he was raised in Kolkata(Calcutta). He was educated at La Martiniere Calcutta, and the St. Xavier’s College of the University of Calcutta. His parents were both sports persons. Vece was a midfielder in the bronze medal-winning Indian field hockey team at the 1972 Munich Olympics. His mother captained the Indian basketball team in the 1980 Asian basketball championship. Paes enrolled with the Britannia Amritraj Tennis Academy in Madras (Chennai) in 1985, where he was coached by Dave O’Meara. The academy played a key role in his early development. Leander earned international fame when he won the 1990 Wimbledon Junior title and rose to no. 1 in the junior world rankings.

Paes is a direct descendant of the great 19th century Bengali poet Michael Madhusudan Dutta through his mother.

In 2010, he joined the Board of Directors of Olympic Gold Quest, a foundation co-founded by Geet Sethi and Prakash Padukone to support talented athletes from India in winning Olympic medals.

Leander has been described as having a strange playing style by Andre Agassi. He varies his play as the match goes on; he is one of the best volleyers and a talented dropshotter. His volleying techniques were learnt from former Indian player.