“I feel very sad seeing him playing Challengers as he should be playing in the top bracket,” said India’s former Davis Cup captain.
Kolkata: The year 2017 has been one when questions regarding the retirement, Leander Paes have cropped up. For 20 long years, Paes has rendered untiring service to the nation in the realm of tennis, making the country proud on several occasions but former Indian Davis Cup captain and Paes’ one-time coach Jaidip Mukerjea feels that it’s time that the youngsters should be preferred.
Speaking to SportsCrunch on the sidelines of an event on Monday, the legendary Mukerjea said, “I think Leader Paes has done a lot of service for the country. He is a great player but age finally catches up with everyone. He is still playing well. But I think we should go with an younger team and wish him all the best. A person like him, who has won Grand Slams, I feel very sad seeing him playing Challengers as he should be playing in the top bracket.”
He also felt that it’s tough for someone like Leander to make a comeback.
“He is trying to make a comeback which is very very tough,” he said.
The second season of the Premjit Lall Invitational is about to get underway from December 14 and the, ‘Jaidip Mukerjea Tennis Academy’ just like last year would organize it. While commenting on the scenario in Indian tennis at the moment, the 1966 Arjuna awardee, felt that it’s time the youngsters took over.
He said, “There are so many young guys coming up like Sumit Nagal, Ramkumar, Yuki Bhambri is still there. You have to go with a younger brigade. Our boys who are playing this tournament (Premjit Lall Invitational) are pretty good. They all are Davis Cup players and it’ll be a good tournament.”
He also said that the current players need to compete in more tournaments to develop in the game.
“It’s good. We’ve got a lot of talented youngsters and they need to work hard and be a part of more competition,” Mukerjea said.
“Unfortunately the Indians are concentrating only on doubles where they should play more singles. Three guys are playing singles regularly-Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramanathan and now Sumit Nagal. Rest of them are all basically doubles players,” he signed off.