Leander Paes and Purav Raja beat Serbian pair of Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Triocky 6-1,6-3 in men’s doubles first round of US Open.Paes has paired up with Purav Raja for preparing the final Grand Slam of the year as both played in warm up Masters event in Cincinnati last month. Mumbaikar Raja is Paes’s 92nd men’s doubles partner.Raja was only 11 years old when Paes made his debut at US Open in 1993. Leander has won 3 men’s doubles titles in 2006,2009 and 2013 while he was mixed doubles champion in 2008 with Cara Black and in 2015 with great Swiss Martina Hingis.Paes is the only tennis player to ever compete in seven Olympics.He won bronze medal at 1996 Atlantic Olympics ending Indian medal drought as Khashaba Jadhav won bronze previously way back in 1952.Besides Paes also has career Grand Slam in both men’s and mixed doubles.He is just one win away from all time Davis Cup doubles wins.
At 44 Leander is the oldest tennis player at US Open 2017. His passion and self belief has made him realise that age is no barrier for tennis.His game now is no longer based on power and speed.But in doubles these factors are not necessary.What matters is your placement and tactics.He has won many fans all over the world with his magical soft hand strokes in tournaments. Hats off to his longevity and his tennis career. Let us hope he carries on and play for few more years.