Leander Paes Brushes Retirement Talks; Says Not Bothered About Opinions
Amidst growing rumours about the New Zealand tie being his last tie, veteran Leander Paes gave ample indications that he will not announce his Davis Cup retirement stating that "opinion of other people never bothered him."
Leander Paes. (Getty Images)
Pune: Amidst growing rumours about the New Zealand tie being his last tie, veteran Leander Paes gave ample indications that he will not announce his Davis Cup retirement stating that "opinion of other people never bothered him."
That the talks from various AITA sources has not gone down well was proved when he said:"If I had to listen to what people say, do you think I would have won even one Grand Slam? Because no one ever believed I would win it."
"If I had listened to them, I would not have played Davis Cup. Those people believed I wouldn't be a Davis Cup player," he retorted, when questioned about his age on the sidelines of his training session.
"And to be able to say this after years of hard work, it is a real bonus. That itself makes me happy," he explained.
Paes said that Yuki Bhambri is a key player for the country given his past record against the Kiwis.
"Yuki has had good outings against them (New Zealand in Christchurch. Yuki is in the team is big advantage. He is key to India's chances. Yuki is in the team after injury lay-off."
On Ramkumar Ramanathan's chances, Paes said,"Ramkumar is in very unique position. We were in a very tough situation in Chennai Open and we lost which shattered his confidence. Yet he is standing out here.
"Shoulders back, chin up, he is working hard. I am very proud of Ram. He has put so much of hard work in his game. All of us are allowed to have an off day."
Asked whether Saketh Myneni, going by his past fitness record, would be able to play on all three days of the contest, Paes said:"Saketh played a great doubles match with me against Olympic gold medallists during the tie (World Group Play-Off) against Spain (in New Delhi). He is fine though it is captain's (Anand Amritraj) call whether to start him fresh in the doubles or make him play singles.
"I was very encouraged with the way he played. I like that spirit. Our captain has got his hands full since Saketh is carrying couple of injury issues. Only the best should get selected to win the job."
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