Veteran Indian doubles player Leander Paes does not want to quit tennis any time soon as he reckons he’s enjoying the sport at the moment.
Having started playing in 1990, Paes has been on the circuit for 28 years now but has said he’s happy to continue playing tennis for now.
The 45-year-old Paes has won eight men’s doubles and nine mixed doubles titles at the Grand Slam level, along with a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics singles competition. He was the runner-up in the men’s doubles tournament at Winston-Salem as recently as August 2018, an indicator his hunger has neither diminished nor his game reduced in potency.
And speaking to the media during the launch of the Tennis Premier League in Mumbai, Paes said:
“As far I am concerned, I am still enjoying my tennis. Now, I have achieved everything that’s there to achieve. I don’t have anything to prove to anybody out there.”
Paes did admit it has been a tough last few years on and off the court but that hadn’t taken away the love for the sport and he would continue playing the sport because it brought him happiness and it was on his own terms.
Interestingly, Paes said the latest attempt to popularise the Davis Cup wasn’t too high on his like-list, because it took the concept of home advantage away. Davis Cup has been played on a home-and-away basis for years now but starting from 2019 it will be played as a one-week long, year-ending tournament at a single venue.
“I’m not a big fan of it as there will be no home advantage now. Having played Davis Cup for 28-29 years now since 1990, I know that playing at home you have the home crowd involved, the home court advantage is involved, the home court surface is involved, it popularises the game in every single country.”
Paes also reasoned Davis Cup was a very patriotic event and it made sense for it to be played around the world to get the crowds behind the teams and it was very evident why not a lot of players were happy with the new competition.