Dropped from the Indian Davis Cup squad, former tennis doubles world no. 1, Leander Paes has a lot weighing on his shoulders as he prepares to compete in the Cincinnati Masters Open. But, perhaps his latest doubles partner, Alexander Zverev can help him turn things around. The 20-year-old Zverev comes fresh from winning the Montreal Masters men's singles, where he defeated former World No. 1 and legend Roger Federer.
Alexander Zverev was not even born when Leander Paes turned pro
Leander Paes turned pro six years before Zverev was born in 1991. By the time Zeverev was born in 1997, Leander Paes had even won an Olympic gold. At the age of 44, Paes is the oldest men's doubles player to win a grand slam. The age difference may be huge, but the youth and experience formula has always been considered successful.
Leander Paes has always enjoyed success with younger doubles partners
The Indian tennis star has always played with doubles partners both in men's and mixed doubles, who are at least a few months younger to him, including Radek Stepanek, Lucas Dloughy and Mahesh Bhupathi. However, this is the first time this year that Paes is partnering with a player who is less than half his age.
Alexander Zverev won his first and only doubles title in February 2017
Ranked 105 in doubles, Alexander Zverev has played doubles with his brother Mischa Zverev and has won an ATP 250 event in Montpellier, France, where he also won the singles title for the same event. Recently becoming the World no. 7 in singles, Alexander Zverev has six singles titles to his name, including five this year. Out of his five singles titles this year, two of Zverev's titles are at ATP Masters 1000 events.
Alexander and Mischa Zverev brothers compete in both singles and doubles consistently
As Alexander Zverev stunned Roger Federer in the Montreal Masters, Mischa Zverev, too caused huge upsets over big names like Andy Murray and Stanislas Wawrinka. Mischa is also a top player in doubles. He has won two titles with partner, Mikhail Youzhny and is ranked World No. 25. Alexander Zverev has so far only partnered with Mischa in doubles.
Leander Paes has played with over 100 doubles partners
Spaniard Marcel Granollers became Leander Paes' 100th doubles partner in 2015. He is the 47th player to have 100 or more different partners. One of his most successful partnerships is with countryman, Mahesh Bhupathi, with who he has won 25 ATP doubles title together, including three Grand Slams.
Paes and Zverev will face Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez in their first round today at Cincinnati Masters.
The match will begin at 11 pm tonight. Will this new pairing make a mark? We will have to wait and watch.