When it comes to Indian tennis, few names come close to touching the legend of Leander Paes, who is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished doubles players in the world.
Leander Paes’ achievements on the global stage, headlined by the bronze medal-effort at the 1996 Olympic Games, spurred on future Indian doubles stars like Divij Sharan, Rohan Bopanna and Purav Raja to take up the sport.
Leander Paes was born on June 17, 1973, in Kolkata to parents who were both accomplished athletes in their own right. His father Vece Paes was part of the men's hockey team who won the bronze medal at the Munich 1972 Olympics, while mother Jennifer Paes led India’s 1980 Asian Basketball Championship team. Sport and the Olympics were in his blood.
He had his first rendezvous with the Games at Barcelona 1992 at the age of 18. He crashed out in the first round of the singles event but strung together some impressive displays alongside partner Ramesh Krishnan, to reach the quarter-finals in the men's doubles.
“It's a mystical and magical experience when you play for 1.4 billion people. When you go out to play the Davis Cup or the Olympics, it’s a different feeling altogether.”
Athlete Olympic Results Content