'I am happy to be around youngsters'

Leander Paes said he is happy to be around. Som, Yuki and Sanam are the present and future of Indian tennis.

Published: 07th April 2013 09:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th April 2013 12:21 PM   |  A+A-


When Leander Paes first played for India in the Davis Cup in 1990, Akhtar Ali was the coach and Akhtar’s son Zeeshan was Leander’s partner. In 2013, Zeeshan is Leander’s coach in the Davis Cup team. Asked for his comments on Akhtar and Zeeshan’s contribution to his career, Leander was at his humourous best, “I hope I’m not around when their grandson becomes the coach,” he said. “Yes, Akhtar saab and Zeeshan have supported me immensely. Akhtar was the one who improved my strokes and fine-tuned me. Zeeshan always played his part. Now as the coach, it’s about pointing out the small things for improvement. They have been my constant guiding forces,” said Leander.

“I’m happy to be around. Som, Yuki and Sanam are the present and future of Indian tennis. I’ll play as long as I can as I simply love tennis and love to play for my country,” Leander said. Asked which was his best Davis Cup tie, Leander said that there have been many. “But yes, the one against France in Frejus was probably the best. They had some incredibly good players like Henri Leconte and Arnaud Boetsch. I won both my singles matches against them before Ramesh Krishnan won the last one to help India win 3-2. It was a dream come true,” said Leander.

“Leander is a great fighter. His commitment to the team is unquestioned. It was always exciting to be part of the team with him around. His energy and enthusiasm is unmatched and infectious. He is a great player and I am very proud of him,” said veteran Akhtar Ali, who incidentally was the Indian team’s coach when Bangalore last hosted a Davis Cup tie against Sweden in 1985. Now his son Zeeshan is in the hot seat.

Stay up to date on all the latest Sport news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp