Leander Paes, India’s most successful tennis player, turns 47 on Thursday, June 17. Paes is considered as one of the best tennis players in doubles, as he holds the record for most doubles wins in Davis Cup. He was born in Kolkata to parents who have made their marks in sports for India. His mother, Jennifer Paes, captained the Indian basketball team in the 1980 Asian Basketball Championship. While his father, Vece Paes, was a midfield squad member in the bronze medal-winning Indian field hockey team at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
On his special day, let’s take a some of the interesting facts about the tennis ace:
In October 2019, when leading doubles pair Rohan Bopanna and non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi refused to travel to Islamabad citing security reasons for the Davis Cup match against Pakistan, Paes came forward to go to Pakistan.
He has won eight doubles and ten mixed doubles Grand Slam titles. India’s poster boy of tennis has a trophy-laden career.
In 1990, Paes won the Arjuna Award. In 1996-97, he won the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, India’s highest sporting honour.
He has been the recipient of Padma Shri in 2001 and Padma Bhushan in 2014 for his exceptional contribution to Tennis in India.
But what Paes is best known for is his stellar displays in the Olympics and other major tournaments. He won a bronze medal for India in the singles category at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
He has won one Australian Open and Wimbledon each and three French Open and US Open each in the doubles category.
Now, Paes is the sports ambassador of Haryana.