When a 23 years old Indian boy lost to Andre Agassi in the semi-finals of Atlanta Olympics 1996 he never knew that he is going to become a Tennis legend. Since 1952 no Indian have won Individual Olympic medal and here was the boy playing against Fernando Meligeni of Brazil. Even after losing the first set the young boy came out as the winner in the next two sets winning Bronze medal and making India proud.
As the Tennis legend is playing 20 years later for the pride and glory, let’s wish this old (young) lad all the best. If you are a Leander Paes, magic will be on the court in crucial junctures. Time and again he proved that he is the best when it comes to making India proud by winning 18 major trophies, countless career slams in men’s and mixed doubles and overall 55 career titles.
His bronze medal was the breakthrough in Olympics as Indian participants won at least one medal in every edition of Olympic Games. Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of his Bronze medal win at Atlanta Olympics and he is ready again to change the color of the medal with Rio 2016 Summer Games just round the corner. This legend was unstoppable even after broken partnerships on and off court. Controversies rammed his career and his personal life but he kept moving forward with one win after another.
Paes is a notable Tennis player in national and international arena. Born in sports family, his father and mother were former Olympians, his father Vece Paes was hockey player and was in the hockey team that won bronze in 1972 Munich Olympic Games and his mother Jennifer Paes is a former basketball player from India who captained the Indian national basketball team in 1982 and participated in the 1972 Summer Olympics.
In his initial days, Leander Adrian Paes was coached by Dave O’Meara. He created sensation in the Indian Tennis circuit by winning 1990 Wimbledon Junior title and then rising to no. 1 in the junior world rankings.