Indian tennis icon Leander Paes aspires to win not only a second Olympics medal but also obliterate the Ramanathan Krishnan’s Davis Cup record of most singles win for India. The 43-year-old legend is preparing for his record seventh appearance at Rio next month.
“He has a few goals ahead of him, and one of them is to win a doubles medal in the Olympics. The other two are winning the World Doubles Championship and to get past Ramanathan Krishnan’s most (50) singles win,” his father Dr. Vece Paes said.
Asked that Leander does not play singles anymore, Paes senior said,” Yes, it’s been a long time, but he’s is a man of records. He sets his goals. He wanted to play singles at the Davis Cup in Chandigarh, as it was a dead rubber. But eventually he pulled out so that his focus is firmly on Olympics. He hopes to play singles again; he is two shy of equalling Krishnan’s feat.”
Leander has 48 singles wins apart from 42 doubles victories for a Davis Cup tally of 90 wins. Ramanathan Krishnan enjoyed 50 singles wins and 19 doubles victories.
Leander had come close to winning a second in the doubles with his partner Mahesh Bhupathi in Athens-2004. But it only remained a dream after the duo lost in a draining three-hour 58-minute battle to Croats Mario Ancic and Ivan Ljubicic.
Dr Paes feels Leander, who holds the record of most number of Olympic appearances by a tennis player in the world, has tactically matured since then. The winner of 18 Grand Slam titles had to deal with uncertainty in yet another controversial build up but Leander always said he and Rohan Bopanna make the best doubles pair.
“Leander is a pro for last 23 years and one who understands the politics of the game. It’s time to put aside your personal differences for the country. Playing for the country is way beyond any personal ego or differences.”