News & Press

Monday, December 22, 2008

2009 will be good: Paes

Calcutta: Indian tennis ace Leander Paes hopes that the next year will be a great one for him in the doubles circuit saying that the indications were already there.

The 35-year old, who on Monday attended a Bengal Tennis Association (BTA) meeting having beenp elected as one of its vice-presidents in November said: “I think next year will be a great year. Considering the way we (doubles partner Lukas Dlouhy and mixed doubles partner Cara Black) have played in the last six months I feel next year will be a good one for us.

“Finishing at the top rungs was a good achievement… The earlier four months were tough… I switched partners before pairing up with Lukas… The rest is history… We (with Clara Black) were solid at the US Open, and looked great at Wimbledon… That’s a very good sign,” Leander told reporters on Monday evening.

While Leander won the US mixed doubles title this year along with Cara Black, he and Dlouhy reached the Wimbledon semi-finals.

Calling the doubles format a game of strategy, the 35-year old Davis Cupper said: “It’s (doubles) a different ball game altogether… It’s more about strategies and depends more on technicality while singles depends more on power and the physical ability of the player.”

Incidentally, Leander Paes along with Dlouhy will participate in the Chennai Open scheduled from January 5. His Davis Cup partner Mahesh Bhupathi will also feature in the meet with partner Mark Knowles.

According to him, the present seven-week break in the international tennis circuit is essential for the players.

“It’s an advantage… You need it in professional tennis… People need rest otherwise the quality goes down… Off-season is as important as anything… Tennis as well as any other sport is all about fitness, especially for players like me who are in their mid-thirties,” Paes said.

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