A Lion’s Heart – Leander Paes!

Hello Everyone!

I am back with our second Olympian winner Leander Paes. Do read my earlier post on Indian Olympians Here.

For now, Let us cherish and revisit the history and feel the proud moment, Leander has created for all of us.

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image source: gqindia.com

“Life is lot like Tennis. You need to put your goals on the sidelines and focus on how to deal with what’s at hand.”

– Leander Paes

As It happened

August 03, 1996, Atlanta, USA

Leander Aged 24 and ranked 126th in the world worked slowly and steadily to move to further rounds. His play improved through every match. Then he beat many top ranked guys before losing in semifinal to eventual champion Andre Agassi.

Leander won the singles Bronze medal in Tennis at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics for India. Back then, he was ranked 126th in the world. This medal came after a long gap of 44 years.

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image source: rediff.com

He won the Bronze medal match in a tough three setter by 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. Playing his worst tennis, he pulled off his best win.

Life Of The Champion

Leander Paes was born in a family of Athletics. His Mother captained India in Basketball, and Father won a Bronze medal in hockey in 1972 Olympics. Since childhood Leander wanted to emulate his parents. He achieved this by wining an individual Olympic medal for India.

Leander has won 18 Grand slam titles in Tennis. He is the elite player who has won all grand slam titles both in mixed and men’s doubles event. But still His Olympic win is close to his heart. Playing for the country has always been his number one priority. He played it like a lion as his name depicts  Leander  – ‘a lions-heart.’

Leander is playing professional tennis since more than two decades now. His athleticism is like a young player who has just turned pro. For Leander age is just a number. He always has been a mentor and a true source of inspiration for young generation of players.

After going through a life threatening brain surgery; Leander never looked back. In fact it turned out to be a blessing. His fans and well wishers enjoy watching him play and always wish him to be top on his game. He is a real craftsman deeply passionate about his work.

 

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First time French win for Nole and Garbine Muguruza at Roland Garros 2016!

I started watching and loving tennis just because of the French open tournament. This is my favorite among all the grand slams. I really don’t why but I just love it. Watching all these clay court matches gives me immense joy!

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Youtube.com

Today, I just want go back and remember all those great players like Gullermo Coria, Justin Henin, Kim Clijsters, David Nalbandian, Carlos Moya and many more to whom watching I had a great time. I do hope I will keep on having such great time for a long time to come.

Okay, let us come back to present now.

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Eurosport.com

Year 2016, French Open crown goes to two first timers. Yes Novak Djokovic and Garbine Muguruza have won the men’s and women’s respective grand slams for the very first time.

Thus Novak Djokovic has completed career grand slam. This one took a little more time for him to win but yes he did it.

I am disappointed with Andy Murray but in a way it’s good that now he has all runner up trophies. I do hope he will do better than this in near future.

There is great news for Indian Tennis lovers as well. Yes, yes Leander Paes and his incredible partner Martina Hingis both of them have completed the career grand slam in mixed doubles. Huge achievement!!!

So let’s see what they have said on the winning point:

“I don’t even remember what happened. It was really one of those things… moments where you just try to be there. It’s like my spirit has left my body and I was just observing my body, going left to right and hoping that Andy will make a mistake, which happened. And, yeah, a thrilling moment. One of the most beautiful I have had in my career.”
– Novak Djokovic

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“I was like ‘Did I win Roland Garros? What happened?’ When he said ‘game, set, and match’, I was like, ‘No way! I won?’ It was, like, amazing. I didn’t know what to do, honestly. To jump? To go to the floor? At the moment, I’m like heart attack almost!”

– Garbine Muguruza

2016 French Open - Day Fourteen

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“She’s a greater champion off the court than she even is on the court. She handles adversity amazingly with a lot of grace. She handles tough situations very easily. When we get on the court, she’s one of the world’s best communicators, and that’s why I love playing with her.”

– Leander Paes, on winning the mixed doubles with Martina Hingis

Olympic Heroes of India

There are 70 days to go for the world’s greatest sports extravaganza to begin. So here I want to attempt to write about our own Olympic heroes.

There will be series of posts based on an individual Olympic medalist. I will keep you posted. For now let’s look back at the history of our Olympic performance till now.

To understand what these great men and women Olympian champions of India have achieved requires a quick look at history. Hockey was the only team event where India has done consistently well. But when it comes to the Individual events it took more than a century to win an individual Gold medal for India. Finally Abhinav Bindra has done it at 2008 Beijing Olympics. But again he is the lone sailor. No other Indian has won an Olympic Gold medal yet.

The gala event of Olympics happens once after every 4 years.  A champion goes through grinding hard work, the perseverance, and conquering all financial and mental troubles to achieve that one medal. I feel these champions are real mad. Without madness it is simply not possible to win.  They run, they shoot, they lift weight, they walk, run more and they do it every day. It is incredible. They live for that single moment.

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Since the commencing of the Olympic Games, India has won a total 13 Individual medals. Wrestler Khashaba Jadhav has won the first Bronze for India in the year 1952. Then it took more than 40 years to win individual medal for the second time. Tennis player Leander has achieved this feet; the year was 1996. Weightlifter Karnam Malleswari became the first ever Indian woman to win the medal at Sydney Olympics in 2000.

In the recent London Olympics India has done its best by wining 6 medals in individual sports. This is the greatest performance of our country in Olympics so far. Let’s be positive and hope to do one step better at Rio 2016 Olympics!