|NAME: Leander Paes
|OCCUPATION: Tennis Player
|BIRTH DATE: June 17, 1973
|PLACE OF BIRTH: Kolkata
Paes, India's Tennis pride, was born in Goa on June 17,1973 and brought up
in Kolkata. Born into a family of sportsmen; His father, Vece was a
member of the Indian field hockey team which won a bronze medal in the 1972
Munich Olympic Games and mother, Jennifer a member of the basketball team;
Leander began playing tennis at the age of 5.
captured the 1990 Wimbledon Junior title and was ranked as the No.1 junior
player in the world at one time. Since then he has been representing India
at various international events winning matches bringing glory to the country.
He is also a member of the Davis Cup squad since 1990, compiling a 32-19 career
record (21-12 in singles). In 1996 Atlanta Olympics, he won the bronze medal
in the Tennis event and made India proud with this individual medal won after
a long gap of 44 years. The last individual medal being the wrestling medal
won by K.D Jadhav in1952 Helsinki Olympics.
He teamed up with Mahesh Bhupathi to form the Indian doubles
team and the duo in 1999, showed their class by winning the French Open and
Wimbledon and entering the finals of the two other Grand Slam Tournaments;
the Australian and US Opens. But the dream team separated soon after, due
to mutual misunderstanding. They came together again in time for the Sydney
Olympics and started regaining their lost prestige at the end of 2000, winning
the Men's Double title in Japan Open 2000 followed by Worlds Doubles Championship
in Bangalore, Verizon Atlanta Challenge, US Clay court Championship in Houston
and at Roland Garros defeating the Czech pair of Petr Pala and Pavel Vizner,
ranked no. 2 in the world.
Between 2003 and present, Paes has increasingly focused
on his doubles and mixed doubles game. Leander won the Mixed doubles events
at the Australian Open and Wimbledon with Martina Navaratilova, both in 2003.
In the 2004 Athens Olympic games he paired up with Mahesh Bhupathi, failing
again at the semi finals stage. His next Grand Slam success was in the U.S.
Open doubles event in 2006. Paes lead the Indian tennis team at the Doha Asian
Games in 2006 and won two golds in the Men's doubles (partnering Mahesh Bhupathi)
and Mixed doubles (partnering Sania Mirza). Paes has maintained his doubles
ranking in the top 20 in the world between 2005 and 2007. With wins in the
Rotterdam and ATP Masters Series in Indian Wells, Paes has taken his doubles
tally to 38, as of May 2007. Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi took part in
the men's doubles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. They were eliminated in the
quarter-finals by Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka who went on to win
the men's doubles gold medal. Later in 2008, with Cara Black, he won the 2008
US Open Mixed Doubles title.