Leander Paes: India’s Best Doubles Tennis Player
Leander Paes is regarded as one of the best doubles tennis players of all time. The Calcutta-born ace, who retired in 2021, won several doubles tournaments after turning professional in 1991. We look back on Paes’ sensational career.
2023 Grand Slam Season Ends
Paes won five US Open titles in his career, though none of those were singles titles. We have just been treated to another memorable Grand Slam tennis season in 2023, with the imperious Novak Djokovic winning the final men’s singles Grand Slam of the year. The Serb’s success in the United States was the 24th Grand Slam title of his incredible career. We are already looking ahead to next season, and today’s tennis odds from Betfair show Djokovic as a 21/10 shot to win the 2024 French Open.
Paes’ best singles performance at the US Open came in 1997. He beat Carlos Costa and Arnaud Boetsch to reach round three. Unfortunately, he lost to Cedric Pioline at the third hurdle. That was his best-ever singles Grand Slam showing.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Thank you, fans! 🤗<br><br>It was a record-setting US Open! <a href=”https://t.co/FYAcPNY4if”>pic.twitter.com/FYAcPNY4if</a></p>— US Open Tennis (@usopen) <a href=”https://twitter.com/usopen/status/1701250744475652435?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>September 11, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
Paes’ Incredible Doubles Record
Paes’ singles career never quite took off, as the Indian star failed to progress further than the third round of a major tournament. However, he is one of the best doubles players of all time.
He won eight men’s doubles and ten mixed doubles Grand Slam titles during a two-decade career. His 2015 Wimbledon win made him just the second men’s player to win the competition in London in three separate decades.
In the doubles, Paes won three French Open and US Open titles. He won the 2012 Australian Open with partner Radek Stepanek and prevailed at Wimbledon in 1999 with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi.
Incredibly, his mixed doubles record is even better. Paes picked up four Wimbledon wins, winning with Martina Navratilova in 2003. The pair also won the Australian Open the same year. Paes won three Australian Opens and two US Open mixed titles.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Leander Paes <a href=”https://t.co/OVG3VGp4F1″>pic.twitter.com/OVG3VGp4F1</a></p>— अजमेरी (@ajmeripoet) <a href=”https://twitter.com/ajmeripoet/status/1699081505266671704?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>September 5, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
The final Grand Slam win of his career came in 2016. He teamed up with Swiss star Martina Hingis at the 2016 French Open. Bombay-born Sania Mirza was waiting in the final, but Paes and Hingis came out on top at Stade Roland Garros.
Paes was also a top star for his country, helping India win a bronze medal in the men’s singles at the 1996 Olympic Games. He represented his nation in seven successive Games and holds the record for most Davis Cup doubles wins.
As a result of his tennis heroics, Paes has been handed the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award and several other accolades. Paes will go down as one of the greatest doubles players of all time and is arguably India’s best-ever tennis star.
After 20 years at the top of his game, Paes finally called it a day in 2021. The doubles legend can now look back on a remarkable 20-year career that saw him lift 18 Grand Slam trophies.