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Leander announces his farewell; writes an emotional msg

Leander, in his 30-years of career managed to maintain himself among the world's top tennis players and had constantly seemed defying the news of his 'retirement' by giving good performances even in his mid-40s.

Saima Siddiqui

Saima SiddiquiBy Saima Siddiqui

Published on 26 Dec 2019 7:57 AM GMT

Leander announces his farewell; writes an emotional msg
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Kolkata: There are few sports which have earned India recognition on international forum and speaking one of them is Tennis. Whenever we think of tennis one name comes out instantly is of Indian legend Leander Paes.

Leander, in his 30-years of career managed to maintain himself among the world's top tennis players and had constantly seemed defying the news of his 'retirement' by giving good performances even in his mid-40s.

But recently, the tennis legend has made a big announcement of his career and declared the year 2020 as the last year of his professional circuit.

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46-year-old Leander Paes has given 30 years of his life to tennis and still seemed enjoying the sport but due to growing age many felt he should have hung up his playing kit three years ago.

The big announcement of his retirement could be because of his deteriorating rank which slipped to the 70s last year and finding a decent partner was getting increasingly difficult of him. The realization that he would perhaps not win another Grand Slam doubles title to add to his fabulous collection of 18 (8 in men's and 10 in mixed) would surely have made him to quit the game.

It is said that the player during August-September this year had seriously started thinking about his retirement. The high standard he had set for himself was dropping steadily and there was nothing much he could do about it as he fell out of the top 100 in the ATP doubles chart for the first time in last 19 years.

Leander's heart touching and emotional announcement on Christmas Day that 2020 would be his farewell year in the professional tennis would have saddened his fans in equal measure.

To announce his retirement, Leander Paes took to social media to wish his followers and well-wishers a fabulous year ahead and to make a formal announcement of his retirement from tennis, "This being said, I want to announce 2020 as my farewell year as a pro tennis player," he announced.

He also wrote, "I am looking forward to the 2020 tennis calendar where I will be playing a few select tournaments, travelling with my team and celebrating with all my friends and fans around the world. It is all of you who have inspired me to become me and I want to take this year to say 'thank you' to you."

"Year 2020 is going to be an emotional one and I look forward to seeing all of you out there roaring with me… It's been an honour being your LionHeart," Leander wrote under the hashtag #OneLastRoar.

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Leander's Career Highlights:

-Won the junior US Open and junior Wimbledon before turning professional in 1991.

-In 1996 Atlanta Olympics defeated Fernando Meligeni to win the bronze medal.

-He was awarded the 'Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna', the highest sporting honour given by the government of India, in 1996.

- In 1990 he was conferred with Arjuna Award.

-In 2001 he was awarded with Padma Shri award and in January 2014, he was given India's third-highest civilian award, Padma Bhushan prize for his outstanding contribution to tennis in India.

-He has won 18 Grand Slam titles in all, 8 of which have come in men's doubles and the remaining 10 have come in mixed doubles. His last Grand Slam title was the mixed doubles crown alongside Martina Hingis in the 2015 US Open.

-In 1999, he reached the final of all four Grand Slams alongside Mahesh Bhupathi. They won the French-open and Wimbledon that year and reached the No. 1 doubles ranking as a result.

-With 24 straight wins, Paes and Bhupathi have a Davis Cup record for the longest winning streak in doubles.

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Saima Siddiqui

Saima Siddiqui

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