Cricket is India’s most popular sport and somewhere, cricket has dominated other sports in our country. But we have some world class achievers in other sports as well and Leander Paes happens to be one of them.
Leander Paes is arguably one of India’s greatest sportsmen, if not the greatest. And with his fifth Wimbledon trophy, he proved that yet again. One of the best doubles and mixed doubles players in the world, Leander is the only player after the great Rod Laver to have won three Wimbledon titles in three different decades.
Not only that, he has won 1 Australian Open, 3 French Open, 1 Wimbledon and 3 U.S. Open titles in Men’s Doubles. Along with this, he has won 3 Australian Open, 4 Wimbledon and 1 U.S. Open titles in Mixed Doubles.
He has played with players in the 40s to win grand slams when people are retiring by the time they reach 30. He had paired with Martina Navratilova when she was 46 years old and still won 2 grand slams with her making her the oldest to win the grand slam. And now, she paired with the 34-year-old Swiss legend Martina Hingis to win the prestigious 2015 Wimbledon crown. He is such an inspirations for so many young Indians.
Here are the 16 grand slam victories by the Indian tennis legend.
1. 1999 French Open with Mahesh Bhupathi
2. 1999 Wimbledon with Mahesh Bhupathi
3. 1999 Wimbledon with Lisa Raymond of USA
4. 2001 French Open with Mahesh Bhupathi
5. 2003 Australian Open with Martina Navratilova of USA
6. 2003 Wimbledon with Martina Navratilova
7. 2006 US Open with Martin Damm of Czech Republic
8. 2008 US Open with Cara Black of Zimbabwe
9. 2009 French Open with Lukas Dlouhy of Czech Republic
10. 2009 US Open with Lukas Dlouhy
11. 2010 Australian Open with Cara Black
12. 2010 Wimbledon with Cara Black
13. 2012 Australian Open with Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic
14. 2013 US Open with Radek Stepanek
15. 2015 Australian Open with Martina Hingis of Switzerland
16. 2015 Wimbledon with Martina Hingis
Yes, Leander is right: “Age is just a number to look and smile at.” But when we say that, it’s important to realize that 42-year-old Leander is still beating the best and looking good for at least a couple more.
Indeed, a true legend of the game.