File photo of Leander Paes.

Paes eyeing ‘unbreakable’ record eighth straight Olympics in Tokyo

Indian tennis icon Leander Paes on Friday mentioned he’s getting ready laborious to take part in subsequent 12 months’s Tokyo Games to make it a file eighth straight Olympic look.

On the Christmas Day of 2019, Paes had introduced his ‘One Last Roar’ tagline, calling 2020 to be his final season as an expert participant, culminating with the Tokyo Olympics.

“None of us then imagined that we would get hit by such a big pandemic. It has made all of us introspect…,” Paes mentioned on the launch of ‘Motovolt Mobility Smart E-Cycles’ right here.

“But after this long break, I feel happy. I’ve no doubt in my mind that physically, mentally and emotionally I would be ready.

“For me it’s very important to ensure that India’s name stays in the history books and that is why I’ve continued my career for 30 years.”

Paes would flip 48 by the point Tokyo Olympics, slated to start on July 23, occurs however he mentioned age is only a quantity and he has the large motivation to make sure that India’s title stays perpetually within the file books.

“I already have the record at seven and I’ve the motivation that if I can push that up to eight Olympics, my belief is that India forever will stay in the history books as the most number of Olympics played in tennis. I’m hoping Tokyo comes around, the event happens.”

Paes, who had received India its first and solely Olympic medal in tennis at 1996 Atlanta Olympics, mentioned he’s working laborious to win one other medal.

“I’m working very hard. It’s not just about participation. You guys have known me, if I’m going to the Olympics, I’m going for winning and not just for putting up the numbers,” he mentioned.

“Age is just a number. The tennis ball does not know the age of a human being hitting the ball. It understands power, spin. It’s what we do matters.”

Asked whether or not he would favor Divij Sharan or Rohan Bopanna to accomplice within the Olympics, Paes mentioned: “When it comes to the Olympics, regardless of which partner I play with, as long as India represents itself to get the world record of eighth appearance, I’m fine.” Paes mentioned be it Rohan, Divij or Ankita Raina within the blended doubles he’s effective with anybody.

“Like I’ve done in the past, I’ve played with Mahesh, Rohan, Sania in the Olympics… Everything that I’ve done is for the flag, for our community,” mentioned Paes.

The winner of 18 Majors additional mentioned he’s eyeing one other milestone of creating it a century of Grand Slam appearances in the principle draw.

Paes already has a Davis Cup file of most doubles victories at 45 which he had achieved at Zagreb on March 7 this 12 months.

Partnering Bopanna, Paes beat Croatia’s Mate Pavic and Franko Skugor 6-Three 6-7 (9) 7-5 within the Davis Cup Qualifiers.

“I didn’t rest until I got all the world records — in Davis Cup, the Olympics and now embarking on finishing playing my 100 Grand Slams,” Paes, who’s three shy of the feat, mentioned.

“I’m still waiting for the calendar to come out. The Australian Open has already been pushed back. I still don’t know whether it will happen or not…

“We are hoping that the vaccines are distributed fast so all of us can get back to our daily lives,” Paes concluded.