Indian Tennis icon, Leander Paes on Wednesday announced his retirement from professional tennis next year in 2020. This emotional announcement on Christmas Day was overwhelming for his fans.
As Leander Paes turned into a professional in 1991, since then he has been leading a very magnificent tennis career. Before that, he won titles at the Junior US Open and the Junior Wimbledon and rose to number 1 in the world junior rankings and also received the Arjuna Award in 1990.
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Paes started thinking about his retirement in between the months of August-September of this year. Within last year, his ranking gradually slipped and for the first time in 19 years, he fell out of the Top 100 in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) doubles chart.
The 46-year old tennis veteran took to Twitter and Instagram to wish his fans and well-wishers for Christmas and New Year ahead. Then he announced his farewell from professional tennis next year in 2020.
In his career, Paes has won eight doubles and ten mixed doubles Grand Slam titles. At the 1999 Wimbledon tournament, he achieved the rare men's doubles/mixed doubles double. In 2010, he became the second man (after Rod Laver) to win mixed doubles Wimbledon titles in three decades.
For his outstanding contribution to tennis in India, this former Davis Cup team captain was honored with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, India's highest sporting honor, in 1996–97. In the same year, he won a bronze medal for India in singles for Atlanta Olympic Games.
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From 1992 to 2016, he competed in seven consecutive Olympics for which he holds the title of being the first Indian and only tennis player to compete at seven Olympic Games consecutively.
In 2001, he received the Padma Shri award; and India's third-highest civilian award and the Padma Bhushan prize in January 2014.
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