News & Press

Monday, January 05, 2009

Paes aiming for Australian Open doubles title

Chennai: The Chennai Open ATP tournament gets underway from Monday and apart from featuring international players, the event will see Leander Paes playing a tournament in India after a long time. Paes and partner Lukas Dlouhy of Czech Republic are the second seeds and the Indian is looking forward to a great start to the year."I have got a few goals for this year as far as tennis goes and off the court. My on-court goals this year is to try and win the Masters which is the year-end for top eight in the world and a season end tournament. I will at the same time try and win Australian Open. There are the only two events that I have not won in doubles and that's what I am going after as far as tennis is concerned," says Paes.

CNN-IBN: How are you feeling in Chennai?

Leander Paes: It is great to come back to Chennai. I grew up here for five years, I learnt my tennis here and it is a city that is one of my favourite hunting grounds especially at this stadium where I have done well in singles in 1998 when I got to semis and lost to Rafter. I won doubles here four times and it speaks about how comfortable I am here. Coming with Lukas for the first time is a new experience. Come with a new partner is a new experience and that is always a great challenge. The crowd here has been always very supportive and they been very vociferous for us. So am looking forward to that too.

CNN-IBN: Is it going to be a little different this time?

Leander Paes: Ya! I think every partnership brings something new and the fact that Lukas and myself have done so well is no reason that we can't win it here. Being the first week of the year, a lot of teams are looking for rhythm and so are we. This is a great positioning for the tournament in the ATP calendar because coming in the first week of January is a real preparation for the Australian Open which is really my goal for this year.

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