Dwindle, Dwindle Tennis Star

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    Jan 09, 2013
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It has been a tough year for ace Tennis champion Leander Paes. Not only did he not win that many honors in 2012, but he was in the press and the tabloids for all the wrong reasons. True he did win one Grand Slam title at the doubles category in the Australian Open tournament, but as for the rest, it has been slim pickings.   

It started sometime around July with Rohan Bopanna announcing that he is pairing up with Mahesh Bhupathi. This arrangement threw everything out of orbit and put out the fire of Paes’s Olympic dream. The All India Tennis Association (AITA) decides to nurse the pride of both the parties and came out with a placating solution. They proclaimed that they were sending not one but two separate teams to participate in the London Olympics. Paes was forced to team up with Vishnu Vardhan, a player who ranks 207 in the world doubles category. Paes was devastated and minced no words to drive home the fact that he, a number seven rank holder and a five time Olympian, deserved to have his choice of a tennis star to play with and not someone who was 200 ranks below his position.

True, playing with the likes of Bopanna and Bhupathi would have been a better move for someone of Leander Paes profile, but proving your mettle, using the worst of the circumstances to your advantage is what a true sportsman is all about. Needless to say, Vardhan and Paes didn’t progress much at the Olympics. Sadly enough, it was keeping very much in terms with his other lukewarm performances this year and the year before that.   

Has age finally got to this once resplendent sports personality? In his heyday, Leander Paes statistics were a true bench mark and he has reaped plaudits by the dozen for his impressive performances. He has won around thirteen Grand Slam titles- seven doubles and six mixed doubles. He was given the captaincy of the Indian Davis Cup team and has helped India pick up a bronze medal in the Atlantic Olympic Games in 1996. Besides these accolades, he is also the recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the Arjuna award and the Padma Shri award for his outstanding contributions to his field. Even now, the fire hasn’t been completely extinguished, it flickers on; the country is rooting for Paes to keep the flame alive. 

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Ram Kausik enjoys writing articles for InterestingArticles.com. View the Ram Kausik Author Profile

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