Personal & Professional Life Of Leander Paes – The Ageless Wonder of Indian Tennis
The legend Leander Paes, the most successful Indian tennis player, become an idol for countless aspiring athletes because of his incredible success in tennis. He is considered the greatest ever doubles player in the world as he won eight doubles and ten mixed doubles Grand Slam titles. Leander’s durability in Tennis is considered a modern miracle, he became the oldest man to have won a Grand Slam title in history. He worked hard for sport and reinvented from time to time to stay ahead of the curve.
The star tennis player Leander had gained a lot of recognition for his great contributions to Indian Tennis. From start, the professional journey of this talented player has been a huge success as he went on to clinch one prestigious title after another. The meaning of Leander is “Lionheart” and it is with this spirit that he has conducted his life. Let’s know more facts about the personal and professional life of one of the best Indian tennis players – Leander Paes.
Basic Details About Leander Paes
|Real Name||Leander Adrian Paes|
|Profession||Tennis Player; Politician; Worked as an Actor|
|Date of Birth||17 June 1973|
|Leander Paes Age (as of 2022)||49 years|
|Hometown||Calcutta, West Bengal||Height||5’10 (178 cm)|
|Weight||70 kg (154 lbs)|
|Hobbies||Scuba Diving and Cooking|
Leander Paes – Family & Childhood
Leander Paes, the best Indian tennis player of all time, was born on 17 June 1973 in Kolkata. He was born to Goan parents and raised in Kolkata, his father Mr. Vece Paes was a famous hockey player who also participated in Olympics in the year 1972. His mother Jennifer was a captain of the India Basketball team. Belonging to a family of star sportspersons means sports stays in his veins. His parents had a huge impact on him, and thus, following the family’s culture of sportsmanship, he had decided to make his career in sports.
Leander has completed his schooling at La Martiniere and his higher education at St. Xavier’s College. He loved sports activities since childhood and developed an early interest in Tennis. In 1985, he enrolled at the Britannia Amritraj Tennis Academy in Madras. He learned everything about Tennis at this academy and his coach Dave O’Meara played a key role in grooming his tennis skills. In 1990, as a teenager, Leander won the Wimbledon Junior title and for a while, became the No.1 ranked world junior. This was the first biggest achievement of his life and after that, he kept on moving forward on the path of success, there was no such force that could stop him. And, he became India’s first-star tennis player and the world’s greatest ever doubles player. A true inspiration, indeed!
Leander Paes – Career Highlights
- In 1991, Leander Paes turned professional in the game of Tennis, and in the year 1992, Leander along with Ramesh Krishnan qualified for the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Olympics in the doubles event.
- In Atlanta Olympics 1996, he made India proud by bagging the Bronze Medal after beating Fernando Meligeni. In the period of more than 40 years, it was the first individual medal of India.
- In 1998, Leander has won two singles titles on the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Tour. In the year 1999, Leander became the world’s No. 1 player in doubles ranking after winning two doubles events at the Grand Slam with Mahesh Bhupathi.
- In 2003, Leander along with Martina Navratilova participated in the mixed doubles tournaments at the Wimbledon and the Australian Open, this pair won both the titles.
- The year 2006 was a very successful one for Leander. He won the US Open doubles event with Martin Damm, Doha Asian Games men’s doubles with Mahesh Bhupathi, and a mixed doubles event with Sania Mirza.
- With Cara Black, Leander won the US Open mixed doubles title in 2008, and the Australian Open mixed doubles title in 2010. This pair won the three consecutive Grand Slams.
- In 2013, Leander along with Radek Stepanek won men’s doubles at the US Open, it was his third US Open men’s doubles title. He also won the mixed doubles trophy at the Australian Open with Martina Hingis in 2015.
- Leander has also tried his luck in the field of entertainment – the film industry. He made his film debut as an actor in the socio-political thriller movie named ‘Rajdhani Express’ in 2013.
- On 29 October 2021, Leander joined the All India Trinamool Congress in presence of the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee in Panaji.
The Famous Paes-Bhupathi Partnership
In 1996, Leander partnered with another famous Indian tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi for the very first time. Everyone knows this famous Paes-Bhupathi partnership which later became a boon for Indian Tennis. This duo was dubbed “Indian Express” and had gained popularity worldwide. The pair bagged so many titles together.
- The Paes-Bhuptahi pair qualified for the semifinals of three Grand Slams in 1998 – the French Open, the Australian Open, and the US Open.
- In 1999, this duo became the first Indian pair to win a doubles event at the Grand Slam, they won both the titles – the French Open and the Wimbledon.
- In 2002, the pair won the Gold medal at the Asian Games held in Busan.
- In 2006, Leander played with Bhupathi at the Doha Asian Games men’s doubles and won the Gold Medal.
Leander and Mahesh Bhupathi were great friends but in the year 2000, their friendship broke down. In one interview, he alleged that Bhupathi had a close relationship with Mahima Chaudhary (Indian Actress), Leander’s ex-girlfriend. He said it was very hard for him to digest when he encountered the fact.
Awards & Achievement of Leander Paes Tennis Player
- Tennis legend Leander Paes won eight doubles and six mixed doubles Grand Slam titles.
- Won a Bronze Medal for India at the Atlanta Olympic Games – 1996
- Won a Bronze Medal at the Commonwealth Games in men’s doubles – 2010
- Won Gold and Bronze Medals in singles, doubles, and team events at the Asian Games of 1994, 2002, and 2006.
- Honored with the Arjuna Award by The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for his achievements in sports – 1990
- Honored with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, India’s highest sporting award, for his umpteen contributions to Tennis – 1996-97
- Honored with the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award, for his achievements and contributions to Tennis – 2001
- Honored with the CNN IBN Indian of the Year Award – 2013
- Honored with the Padma Bhushan Award, India’s third-highest civilian award, for his great achievements in sports – 2014
- Honored with CNN IBN Indian of the Year Award – 2016
Leander Paes’s Love Life
Leander has earned so much fame and money, no doubt about it. He has been very lucky in his career but not with his relationships. The player’s love life was no less than a rollercoaster ride. Find the list of all the women Leander had a romantic relationship with.
- Mahima Chaudhary – Leander had started dating the Famous Bollywood actress Mahima Chaudhary, during his peak years of success. They had dated each other for almost three years. But, their relationship ended in 2003, in an interview, Mahima accused him of cheating on her and had said the distance in their relationship was because of Rhea Pillai.
- Rhea Pillai – Leander had started dating Rhea, the ex-wife of Sanjay Dutt, in 2003. This couple was in a live-in relationship, but as per some rumors, Leander got married to Rhea in 2005. They have also welcomed a baby girl Aiyana in April 2006. In 2014, the couple separated as Rhea filed a case of domestic violence against Leander and his father Vece Paes. Recently, in February 2022, Leander has been found guilty of committing various acts of domestic violence against her.
- Tanvi Shah – Leander had again come in limelight in 2016 for his dating rumors with junior tennis player Tanvi Shah. But they had never come out in the open about the same.
- Kim Sharma – Tennis player Leander Paes is currently dating Indian actress and model Kim Sharma. On 5 September 2021, Kim confirmed her relationship with Leander via Instagram post.
10 Unknown Facts About Leander Paes
- Leander was diagnosed with a parasitic bran infection ‘neurocysticercosis’ in 2003 and had to miss the French Open. But, he was fully recovered by the end of the same year.
- Leander Paes joined the Board of Directors of Olympic Gold Quest in the year 2010.
- Leander came into a live-in relationship with Rhea Pillai in 2005. Rhea is a former wife of Sanjay Dutt.
- His rumored ex-wife Rhea Pillai filed a domestic violence case against him in 2014. Leander is also fighting for his daughter’s custody.
- Leander’s daughter was diagnosed with a severe health problem ‘A brain Tumor’. But, it still doesn’t make anything better between him and his rumored ex-wife Rhea Pillai.
- In 2012, Leander Paes was named the Sports Ambassador of the state of Haryana.
- Leander has started focusing more on his doubles game after the year 2003 and became the world’s greatest ever doubles player.
- One of the best Indian tennis players Leander Paes is a direct descendant of Michael Madhusudan Dutt (the famous Bengali poet) through his mother.
- This tennis legend has also loved playing football since childhood.
- He owns two expensive cars – Porsche Cayenne and Ford Endeavour.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who was the coach of tennis legend Leander Paes?
Ans: Dave O’Meara was his coach of Leander, he played a key role in grooming his tennis skills.
Q: How many doubles titles Leander Paes has won?
Ans: Leander won 54 doubles titles and 10 mixed doubles titles.
Q: When did Leander Paes join politics?
Ans: Leander joined the All India Trinamool Congress party on 29 October 2021.
Q: Who is Leander Paes’s wife?
Ans: Rhea Pillai is the rumored ex-wife of Leander. Currently, he is unmarried and in a relationship with Indian Actress Kim Sharma.
Q: Who is the first Indian tennis player to win Grand Slam?
Ans: Mahesh Bhupathi is the first Indian tennis player who won the Grand Slam title.
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