It was nearly three years ago when everyone thought Leander Paes will call it a day, but he is still enjoying the game of tennis even in his mid 40s. However, during the August-September this year, Paes started to think about retirement and he is now all set to take retirement in 2020.
The thinking of taking retirement started to increase after Paes’ rankings slipped to the 70s last year itself, and finding a decent partner was getting increasingly difficult. The great Tennis leader began his career back in 1991 and the year 2020 would mark his 30th year on the tour. He has been the face of Indian tennis for much of this time and has gone on to be recognised as one of the greatest doubles players of all time
Paes has won 18 Grand Slam titles — eight in men’s doubles and 10 in mixed doubles. He has also won a total of 66 professional titles and a bronze in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics in men’s singles. He is also the first Indian and the only tennis player to have participated in seven Olympic Games.
Paes announced 2020 will be his farewell year through Twitter on the day of Christmas. The 49-year old also said he is looking forward to play only some selective tournaments in 2020 before taking the retirement.
“Merry Christmas everyone! Here’s wishing all of you and your families a fabulous year ahead filled with health, happiness and excitement. This being said, I want to announce 2020 as my farewell year as a pro tennis player.”
“I am looking forward to the 2020 tennis calendar where I will be playing a few select tournaments, travelling with my team and celebrating with all my friends and fans around the world. It is all of you who have inspired me to become me and I want to take this year to say “Thank you” to you,” he said.
The great Indian Tennis play 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 India’s third-highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan prize in January 2014, for his outstanding contribution to tennis.
— Leander Paes (@Leander) December 25, 2019