NEW DELHI: Tennis great Leander Paes on Wednesday said that he will be calling time on his nearly three-decade-long professional career in 2020. Paes made the announcement while wishing fans a merry Christmas on his social media handles.
"Merry Christmas everyone! Here's wishing all of you and your families a fabulous year ahead filled with health, happiness and excitement. This being said, I want to announce 2020 as my farewell year as a pro tennis player," said the 46-year-old.
Paes' professional career began in 1991 which means that 2020 would mark his 30th year on the tour. He has been the face of Indian tennis for much of this time and has gone on to be recognised as one of the greatest doubles players of all time. He has won 18 Grand Slam titles -- eight in men's doubles and 10 in mixed doubles.
He has won a total of 66 professional titles and a bronze in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics in men's singles. He is also the first Indian and the only tennis player to have participated in seven Olympic Games.
Paes most recently played for the Indian Davis Cup team in their victory against Pakistan. He had won a record 44th doubles match in that tie.
"I am looking forward to the 2020 tennis calendar where I will be playing a few select tournaments, travelling with my team and celebrating with all my friends and fans around the world. It is all of you who have inspired me to become me and I want to take this year to say "Thank you" to you," he said.