Leander Paes says not yet decided when to retire
Veteran Indian tennis player Leander Paes Saturday said that he’s enjoying his game and yet to decide on when to call it quits. “How long am I going to play? As long as I enjoy it. Will I retire by the end of the year? I don’t know, we will see it at the end of the year,” Paes said when asked about the road ahead for him.
“As far I am concerned, I am still enjoying my tennis. Now, I have achieved everything that’s there to achieve. I don’t have anything to prove to anybody out there,” said the 45-year-old multiple Grand Slam winner.
Paes admitted that the last few years have been tough for him but said he was playing on his own terms. “I love my tennis, I have been playing for that many years. I hope I have brought happiness to people over the years. Now, I am playing because I enjoy it and I am playing it on my terms. I think the last few years have been very tough both on and off the court. For me, tennis brings a lot of happiness,” he said.
He said the new format of the Davis Cup was another attempt to popularise the game though he was not a big fan of it. “The Davis Cup has evolved over the years so many times, they have tried to popularize Davis Cup (so that) more of the top players play. I think this (the newer format) is just one more attempt to actually popularize the game and put it in a concept where it’s all happening within one week.”
He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the launch of the Tennis Premier League here in suburban Andheri. Teams will play one week in February to advance to the championship in November, replacing the current Davis Cup format that is played over four weekends throughout the year.
“I’m not a big fan of it as there will be now home advantage now. Having played Davis Cup for 28-29 years now since 1990, I know that playing at home you have the home crowd involved, the home court advantage is involved, the home court surface is involved, it popularizes the game in every single country.
“And if you are playing away from home, likewise you have to handle adversity, the crowds against you, the alien surface. Also Davis Cup is huge patriotic event, so I think to spread Davis Cup around the world was the way to go. I see a lot of the top players not taking kindly to the new rule of Davis Cup,” the veteran player noted.