Paes completes career Grand Slam
Originally published on: 29/01/12 07:22
The Indo-Czech pair defeated the No. 3 seeds Michael Llodra and Nenad Zimonjic in the third round and the No. 2 seeds Daniel Nestor and Max Mirnyi in the semi-finals. The defeat of the Bryan Brothers in Saturday’s final was the ultimate victory.
For 38-year-old Leander Paes it was the realization of a career grand slam. He already has six men’s doubles titles 1999 Roland Garros, 1999 Wimbledon and 2001 Roland Garros with Mahesh Bhupathi, 2006 US Open, with Martin Damm and 2009 Roland Garros and US Open with Lukas Diouhy.
“I’m going to be 39 this year. The reason I can still win Grand Slams is, one, I know how to pick great partners; and, two, I’m very passionate about my daily schedule. Every day I put myself on the line, and that’s a lot of fun.”
Paes also shared some great doubles advice. “In doubles the key to doubles is actually having an umbilical cord connecting you and you move like a team, especially at the net. His other top tip was “ to make a lot of returns. They don’t necessarily have to be the hardest, fastest, biggest returns in the game. You just have to make them”.
Of their partnership Radek Stepanek said, “You know it feels as I said, great spirit, great friendship, great respect for each other. That’s what makes us strong.”
Their celebration was fuelled with passion as they embraced one another, and they didn’t stop smiling even through the post match presser. Radek was back courtside on Sunday to watch Paes compete in the mixed doubles final with Elena Vesnina. Paes had to settle for runner-up as Bethanie Mattek Sands and Horia Tecau claimed victory.
In winning the men’s doubles title the Indo-Czech pair denied the Bryan Brothers their 12th Grand Slam title, and the opportunity to equal the all time doubles grand slam record set by John Newcombe and Tony Roche. That record is still up for grabs.