A legend in its name, Leander Paes needs no formal introduction. Ranked once as world’s no. 1 junior player, having the honor of carrying Indian flag at Sydney Olympics and winning the 1990 Wimbledon Junior title, Leander Paes is all what India has to be proud of.
A legend in its name, Leander Paes needs no formal introduction. Ranked once as world’s no. 1 junior player, having the honor of carrying Indian flag at Sydney Olympics and winning the 1990 Wimbledon Junior title, Leander Paesis all what India has to be proud of.
Born in 17th June 1973 in Calcutta, India, Leander Paes is a son to athlete parents. His Father, Vece, was a member of 1972 Munich Olympics bronze medal hockey team and his mother, Jennifer, was captain of the Indian Basketball team at the 1980’s Asian basketball championship. It wasn’t until 1985 in Madras, Chennai, that Leander Paes set his foot in Professional Tennis career.
Leander Paesshowed some promising skills way from his academy back in Madras.It was these skills that paved his way for making a highly successful professional career. He made to the quarter finals of the doubles event of 1992 Barcelona Olympics. It was really encouraging for the young star that just turned professional a year ago. With increased energy and devotion to his career, Leander Paes went on and performed way better in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics where he beat Fernando Meligeni to win the Olympic bronze medal.
Leander Paes climbed in the rankings overnight and put all his efforts in becoming the number one. He took a shot on all the prestigious titles and managed to reach the semifinals in almost all of them. His most fortunate decision was teaming up with Mahesh Bhupathi with whom he’ll go on to become the best doubles team. Leander Paes also won the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the highest sports honor in India in 1996.
On his successive years, Leander Paes concentrated on his doubles and mixed doubles career. His team with Bhupathi saw achievements in numerable title shots. 1997 was a year of achievement for Leander Paes. His doubles rankings soared sky high from 89th in the beginning of the year to 14th in December. The duo reached the finals of all 4 Grand Slams, winning Wimbledon and French Open in the year 1999. One of the biggest achievements was winning ATP title at New Haven against the Legendary and one of the best tennis stars of all time, Pete Sampras.
In the coming years, Leander Paes worked hard day and night to achieve his dreams. In 2006, the pair won their gold medal in doubles at the Asian Games.Leander Paes even took part in the Beijing Olympics in 2008 along with Bhupathi, but failed to go ahead of quarterfinals. Returning with increased energy, he went on and won the mixed doubles title at US open later that year.In the year 2001, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi won Padma Shiri, the highest civil honor that goes to citizens who had done exceptional and distinguished service to the nation (Padma Shiri is equivalent to British Knighthood or the American Medal Of Honor).