It was throughout August-September this yr that he critically began excited about retirement. His rating had slipped to the 70s final yr itself, and discovering a good companion was getting more and more troublesome. The excessive normal he had set for himself was dropping steadily and there was nothing a lot he might do about it as he fell out of the highest 100 within the ATP doubles chart for the primary time in 19 years.
The belief that he would maybe not win one other Grand Slam doubles title so as to add to his fabulous assortment of 18 (eight in males’s and 10 in blended) would absolutely have influenced his thought course of as he made up his thoughts.
Leander’s emotional announcement on Christmas Day that 2020 could be his farewell yr in skilled tennis would have saddened and gladdened his followers in equal measure.
The 46-year-old veteran of many a stirring battle took to social media to want his followers and well-wishers a wonderful yr forward. “This being stated, I need to announce 2020 as my farewell yr as a professional tennis participant,” he introduced.
Thanking his mother and father for his or her “genetics, steering, self-discipline, the atmosphere they created and unconditional love they’ve all the time proven” and his sisters for being his “rocks”, the Atlanta Olympic bronze-medallist spelt out plans for his farewell yr.
“I’m wanting ahead to the 2020 tennis calendar the place I can be taking part in a number of choose tournaments, travelling with my group and celebrating with all my associates and followers around the globe. It’s all of you who’ve impressed me to develop into me and I need to take this yr to say ‘thanks’ to you,” he wrote.
The Davis Cup doubles win 4 weeks in the past – albeit in opposition to a depleted Pakistan facet – was the icing on the cake. He bought a possibility solely after higher-ranked gamers refused to journey to Pakistan and grabbed it with each palms.
The straight-set set win with debutant Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan in Nur Sultan (Kazakhstan) – the ITF shifted the tie to a impartial venue – helped Leander lengthen his report of notching up most variety of doubles victories in a contest which all the time introduced the most effective out of the fighter in him.
“12 months 2020 goes to be an emotional one and I look ahead to seeing all of you on the market roaring with me… It has been an honour being your LionHeart,” Leander wrote underneath the hashtag #OneLastRoar.
— Leander Paes (@Leander) 1577285386000
LEANDER’S CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
o Gained the junior Wimbledon and junior US Open earlier than turning skilled in 1991
o Defeated Fernando Meligeni to win the bronze medal on the 1996 Atlanta Olympics
o He was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the best sporting honour given by the Indian authorities, in 1996
o He has received 18 Grand Slam titles in all, eight of which have are available males’s doubles and the remaining ten have are available blended doubles. His final Grand Slam title was the blended doubles crown alongside Martina Hingis within the 2015 US Open
o With 24 straight wins, Paes and Bhupathi have a Davis Cup report for the longest successful streak in doubles