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Leander takes a relook at his goodbye tour

2020 was supposed to be the tennis star’s last year on court, but that has changed after the pandemic.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: May 22, 2020, 08.45 AM IST
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The first Indian and only tennis player to compete at seven straight Olympic Games, Paes is aiming to make it eight in Tokyo next year.
The first Indian and only tennis player to compete at seven straight Olympic Games, Paes is aiming to make it eight in Tokyo next year.
In a TEDxGateway webinar a few days ago, Indian tennis player Leander Paes shared his journey over the 30 plus years he spent on the ATP World tour. The 46-year-old shared that emotional, mental and physical health is vital during this time.

The first Indian and only tennis player to compete at seven straight Olympic Games, Paes is aiming to make it eight in Tokyo next year. He shared his secret, “I have kept reinventing my training, my goals and my passion for the sport over the years.”

About his swansong tour with its own slogan ‘One Last Roar’, Paes said, “I have to re-evaluate the whole thing once the lockdown lifts. Right now, none of us can guess when we can be back on the tennis court. When it comes to travelling through airports, sitting in aeroplanes, living in hotels, living from a suitcase every week of the year — it’s not easy.”

The Covid-19 lockdown has made the Olympic bronze medallist find new meaning. “I’ve tried to make a difference to people through my tennis. I don’t see tennis starting till January or February 2021. None of us know when we are going to start again. While we are in this lockdown, I am making sure that emotionally, I am staying up. It’s very easy with my father (Vece) and daughter (Aiyana). For the past 30 years, I have been on the road for 40-42 weeks of the year,” he said.

The 18-time Grand Slam champion admitted that he is not a very talented tennis player. “The average height of a tennis player is 6 feet. If you look at my 5’10, there’s a reason I don’t have a big serve, a good single-handed backhand top spin. The bal ls and courts are slower. Most people are hitting with two fists. I had to use other God-given talents, I had to work hard to develop my own skills. Reinvention in 2020 continues. I still find a way to reach out to the masses and entertain,” he said.

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Tennis fans, rejoice! Wimbledon is here and is set to take over the lives of all tennis aficionados. The event is not just about stellar games on-court but this major sporting phenomenon gives a peek into classic British food traditions and chic dressing etiquette. Considered to be among the most traditional of sporting events, it has its own customs and peculiarities. While you watch Andy Murray, Angelique Kerber, Rafael Nadal fight it out on court, here's what you can snack-on to feel like you're right there, amidst the stars. (Image: Facebook/Wimbledon)
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