Leander Adrian Paes (born 17 June 1973) is an Indian professional tennis player. He is widely considered one of the greatest doubles players in the history of the sport. He holds the record for the most doubles wins in the Davis Cup.
Paes has won eight doubles and ten mixed doubles Grand Slam titles. He holds a career Grand Slam in men’s doubles and mixed doubles, and achieved the rare men’s doubles/mixed doubles double at the 1999 Wimbledon tournament. His mixed doubles Wimbledon title in 2010 made him the second man (after Rod Laver) to win Wimbledon titles in three decades.
Paes received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, India’s highest sporting honor, in 1996–97; the Arjuna Award in 1990; the Padma Shri award in 2001; and India’s third-highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan prize in January 2014, for his outstanding contribution to tennis in India.
He won a bronze medal for India in singles in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. He competed in consecutive Olympics from 1992 to 2016, making him the first Indian and only tennis player to compete at seven Olympic Games.
He plays in World Team Tennis for the Washington Kastles. He was on the 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 championship teams and was named Male MVP for 2009 and 2011 for all of World Team Tennis.
He is the sports ambassador of the Indian state of Haryana. Paes has announced that he will retire in 2020, which will be his farewell season on the Pro-circuit.”I want to announce 2020 as my farewell year as a pro tennis player,” Paes wrote in a statement, which he posted on his Twitter handle.
LEANDER was born in Calcutta, India, on 17 June 1973 to Vece Paes, a Goan, and, Jennifer Paes, from Calcutta. He was educated at La Martiniere Calcutta, Madras Christian College Higher Secondary School and the St. Xavier’s College of the University of Calcutta. His parents were both athletes. Vece was a midfield squad member in the bronze medal-winning Indian field hockey team at the 1972 Munich Olympics although he did not personally receive a medal as he did not take to the field in any of India’s matches. His mother captained the Indian basketball team in the 1980 Asian basketball championship.
Paes is a direct descendant of Bengali poet Michael Madhusudan Dutta through his mother. Paes had a live-in-relationship with Rhea Pillai in 2005. The couple have a daughter, Aiyana. She filed a case at a local metropolitan court against Paes in 2014, alleging that he had her belongings removed from a wing of his home so his visiting parents could stay there.
Paes enrolled with the Britannia Amritraj Tennis Academy in Madras (Chennai) in 1985, where he was coached by Dave O’Meara.] The academy played a key role in his early development. Leander earned international fame when he won the 1990 Wimbledon Junior title and rose to no. 1 in the junior world rankings at age 17.
Grand Slam finals
Doubles: 16 (8 titles, 8 runner-ups)
By winning the 2012 Australian Open title, Paes achieved the career Grand Slam.
|Runner-up||1999||Australian Open||Hard||Mahesh Bhupathi|| Jonas Björkman
|3–6, 6–4, 4–6, 7–6(12–10), 4–6|
|Winner||1999||French Open||Clay||Mahesh Bhupathi|| Goran Ivanišević
|Winner||1999||Wimbledon||Grass||Mahesh Bhupathi|| Paul Haarhuis
|6–7(10–12), 6–3, 6–4, 7–6(7–4)|
|Runner-up||1999||US Open||Hard||Mahesh Bhupathi|| Sébastien Lareau
|Winner||2001||French Open (2)||Clay||Mahesh Bhupathi|| Petr Pála
|Runner-up||2004||US Open||Hard||David Rikl|| Mark Knowles
|Runner-up||2006||Australian Open||Hard||Martin Damm|| Bob Bryan
|6–4, 3–6, 4–6|
|Winner||2006||US Open||Hard||Martin Damm|| Jonas Björkman
|6–7(5–7), 6–4, 6–3|
|Runner-up||2008||US Open||Hard||Lukáš Dlouhý|| Bob Bryan
|Winner||2009||French Open (3)||Clay||Lukáš Dlouhý|| Wesley Moodie
|3–6, 6–3, 6–2|
|Winner||2009||US Open (2)||Hard||Lukáš Dlouhý|| Mahesh Bhupathi
|3–6, 6–3, 6–2|
|Runner-up||2010||French Open||Clay||Lukáš Dlouhý|| Nenad Zimonjić
|Runner-up||2011||Australian Open||Hard||Mahesh Bhupathi|| Bob Bryan
|Winner||2012||Australian Open||Hard||Radek Štěpánek|| Bob Bryan
|Runner-up||2012||US Open||Hard||Radek Štěpánek|| Bob Bryan
|Winner||2013||US Open (3)||Hard||Radek Štěpánek|| Alexander Peya
Mixed doubles: 18 (10 titles, 8 runner-ups)
|Winner||1999||Wimbledon||Grass||Lisa Raymond|| Anna Kournikova
|6–4, 3–6, 6–3|
|Runner-up||2001||US Open||Hard||Lisa Raymond|| Rennae Stubbs
|6–4, 5–7, [11–9]|
|Winner||2003||Australian Open||Hard||Martina Navratilova|| Eleni Daniilidou
|Winner||2003||Wimbledon (2)||Grass||Martina Navratilova|| Anastassia Rodionova
|Runner-up||2004||Australian Open||Hard||Martina Navratilova|| Elena Bovina
|Runner-up||2005||French Open||Clay||Martina Navratilova|| Daniela Hantuchová
|3–6, 6–3, 6–2|
|Runner-up||2007||US Open||Hard||Meghann Shaughnessy|| Victoria Azarenka
|Winner||2008||US Open||Hard||Cara Black|| Liezel Huber
|Runner-up||2009||Wimbledon||Grass||Cara Black|| Anna-Lena Grönefeld
|Runner-up||2009||US Open||Hard||Cara Black|| Carly Gullickson
|Winner||2010||Australian Open (2)||Hard||Cara Black|| Ekaterina Makarova
|Winner||2010||Wimbledon (3)||Grass||Cara Black|| Lisa Raymond
|Runner-up||2012||Australian Open||Hard||Elena Vesnina|| Bethanie Mattek-Sands
|3–6, 7–5, [3–10]|
|Runner-up||2012||Wimbledon||Grass||Elena Vesnina|| Lisa Raymond
|3–6, 7–5, 4–6|
|Winner||2015||Australian Open (3)||Hard||Martina Hingis|| Kristina Mladenovic
|Winner||2015||Wimbledon (4)||Grass||Martina Hingis|| Tímea Babos
|Winner||2015||US Open (2)||Hard||Martina Hingis|| Bethanie Mattek-Sands
|6–4, 3–6, [10–7]|
|Winner||2016||French Open||Clay||Martina Hingis|| Sania Mirza
|4–6, 6–4, [10–8]|
Olympic medal matches
Singles: 1 (1 bronze medal)
Bronze medal final
|Bronze||1996||Atlanta||Hard||Fernando Meligeni||3–6, 6–2, 6–4|
|4th place||2004||Athens||Hard||Mahesh Bhupathi|| Mario Ančić
|6–7(5–7), 6–4, 14–16|
Leander has been described as having a strange playing style by Andre Agassi. He varies his play as the match goes on; he is one of the best volleyers and a talented drop shotter. His volleying techniques were learnt from former Indian player Akhtar Ali. He hits a one-handed backhand, which he drives only seldom, preferring instead to slice when returning serve or rallying from his backhand.
Leander made his film debut in Ashok Kohli’s Rajdhani Express, a socio-political thriller.