India’s premier tennis player has won multiple honors through the course of his long career. Here are
Leander Paes is one of the few legendary tennis players India has ever produced. He is also regarded as one of the best doubles players in the world.
Leander Paes had an immensely long career. His longevity became one of his better known characteristics, as he went on to play professional tennis well into his 40s. The 47-year-old announced his retirement from the pro-circuit back in 2020, setting numerous records and achievements along the way.
The tennis ace has accumulated several national awards and has also laid claim Grand Slam titles. Keeping the focus on his accolades, here are the top five achievements from Leander’s career:
Seven Olympic Appearances
Leander Paes played professional tennis across three decades. The sport of tennis has never seen such longevity in the past or present. The Indian was playing professional tennis well into his 40s and continued to perform at the highest level. One of his most iconic achievements, which may not be broken for years to come, is the seven Olympic appearances.
The Indian tennis star represented India at seven different editions of the multi-sports event. He competed in the Olympics from 1992 to 2016 consecutively. Moreover, he is the only tennis player ever to play in seven Olympics and the first Indian to do so.
Eight doubles Grand Slams
Leander Paes is a legendary doubles player. He has won multiple tournaments, especially the Grand Slams in the Men’s Doubles bracket with several partners over the years. His iconic partnership with fellow Indian Mahesh Bhupati is still remembered as one of the most feared. Their chest thumping celebration remains one of the most memorable images in tennis doubles circuit.
In terms of Grand Slam victories, Paes has won the Australian Open in 2012; French Open in 1999, 2001 and 2009; Wimbledon in 1999 and the US Open in 2006, 2009 and 2013. Three of the eight titles were won alongside Bhupati.
Ten mixed doubles Grand Slams
Leander Paes was even more successful in the Mixed Doubles circuit. He has partnered with some well-known figures like Lisa Raymond, Martina Navratilova, Martina Hingis and Cara Black among others. The Indian has won a total of 10 Grand Slam titles over the course of his mixed doubles career.
In terms of particular tournaments, Paes has won the Australian Open in Mixed Doubles in 2003, 2010 and 2015; the French Open in 2016; the Wimbledon in 1993, 2003, 2010, and 2015; and the US Open in 2008 and 2015.
Leander Paes is one of India’s most coveted personalities across all sports. The Government of India has acknowledged his contribution for the game of tennis and sports at large in the country. Thanks to his achievements and performances, the tennis star has received several national awards.
Leander Paes won the Arjuna Award for Lawn Tennis in 1990. He received the highest sporting honor Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 1996, after his bronze medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Moreover, he won the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honor in India in 2001. The Kolkata-born athlete also won the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honor in India later in 2015 for his years of service in the field of sports.
Bronze in 1996 Olympics
Securing a bronze medal in the Summer Olympics is perhaps the most notable achievement by Leander Paes in his career. The athlete won the bronze in Men’s Singles at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
As a result, Paes became the first individual to win an Olympic medal since wrestler KD Jadhav did it back in 1952 Helsinki Olympics, where he also won the bronze. The right-handed player termed the bronze win as one of his biggest performances, partly because he was playing with an injured wrist too.