|Full name||Leander Adrian Paes The Times of India|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters– 178 cm
in meters– 1.78 m
in feet & inches– 5’ 10”
|Weight (approx.)||in kilograms– 70 kg
in pounds– 154 lbs
|Plays||Right-handed (one-handed backhand)|
|Career Titles (Singles)||1|
|Career Titles (Doubles)||54|
|Career Titles (Mixed Doubles)||10|
|Highest Ranking (Singles)||No. 73 (24 August 1998)|
|Highest Ranking (Doubles)||No. 1 (21 June 1999)|
|Political Party||All India Trinamool Congress (2021-present)
Note: On 29 October 2021, he joined the Trinamool Congress in presence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Panaji.
|Awards||• Arjuna Award (1990)
• Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award (1996)
|Date of Birth||17 June 1973 (Sunday)|
|Age (as of 2022)||49 Years|
|Hometown||Calcutta, West Bengal|
|School||• La Martiniere, Calcutta
• Madras Christian College Higher Secondary School, Chennai
|College/University||St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta|
|Hobbies||Scuba Diving, Cooking|
|Controversies||• Sania’s disappointment with Paes:
In 2012, tennis player, Sania Mirza criticized Leander Paes’s father Vece Paes, for asking her to give a written statement on her intention to pair with his son in a mixed doubles event at the Olympics. The decision to pair Sania and Leander was taken by All India Tennis Association after Leander had refused to play with Vishnu Vardhan. India Today
• Sania’s criticism on Leander:
• Domestic Violence case against Paes:
• End of the strongest duo:
|Relationships & More|
|Affairs/Girlfriends||• Mahima Chaudhary (2000-2003) (actress)
• Rhea Pillai (2005-2014) (model)
• Tanvi Shah (2016) (tennis player)
• Kim Sharma (2021-present) (actress)
Note: On 5 September 2021, Kim Sharma took to Instagram to confirm their relationship.
|Marriage Date||Year, 2005|
|Wife/Spouse||Rhea Pillai (rumored ex-wife) (model) (2005- 2014)|
|Parents||Father– Vece Paes (hockey player)
Mother– Jennifer Paes (basketball coach)
|Actor||Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan|
|Tennis Player(s)||Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer|
|Film||Bollywood– Sholay (1975)|
|Singer(s)||Andrea Bocelli, Adele|
|Book(s)||Nelson Mandela ( Long Walk to Freedom) (1994), Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, Michael Jordan: The Life (2014), My Life (2004)|
|Ice cream||Haagen Dazs mint chocolate chip|
|Food||Southern Indian with rice, rasam (a broth you put in the rice), with Chicken, Sushi|
|Cars Collection||• He owns a Porsche Cayenne.
• He owns a Ford Endeavour.
Some Lesser Known Facts About Leander Paes
- Leander Paes is an Indian tennis player who is known for holding the record for the most doubles wins in the Davis Cup.
- His father belonged to Goa, and his mother was from Calcutta. His father was a member of the Indian hockey team in the 1972 Munich Olympics. His mother was the captain of the Indian basketball team in the 1980 Asian basketball championship. In an interview, he said that he always wanted to win Olympics just like his father did. He used to polish his father’s medal every Saturday, which he said were the best moments of his life. He also used to accompany his mother who was the coach of the National Basketball Team to matches, practice sessions and press conferences. In an interview, he talked about learning tennis from his parents and said,
They say your parents are your first teachers and nothing truer has been said. My parents were my first gurus who taught me resilience, dedication and mental tenacity. For a small boy, who was taking on a path that wasn’t very popularly tread in those times, these initial lessons changed the way I looked at life, both personally and professionally. Because I chose sport as my profession, the expectations and pressures of being my parents’ son was felt every day.”
- He started his career in 1985 after he took admission to the Britannia Amritraj Tennis Academy in Madras (now Chennai) and received coaching from Dave O’Meara. In an interview, he talked about his early years in Kolkata and said,
I consider myself extremely lucky to have grown up in a city that was so passionate about sports and valued community living above anything else. In the early years, most of my sports experiences were either at school, or with my parents or at the various clubs that they were part of. But it was in the Maidans of Kolkata that I learnt the meaning of being a sports person in the truest sense of the word. Kolkata provided an amazing environment to nurture a young champion and it taught me the lessons of teamwork and community building.”
- In 1990, at the age of seventeen, he won the Wimbledon Junior title and earned No. 1 in the junior world rankings.
- In 1992, at the age of nineteen, he reached the quarter-finals of the doubles event in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
- In 1996, he became the first Indian after KD Jadhav to win a bronze medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. During this match, his wrist was severely injured. In an interview, he talked about playing the match even after the injury, and said,
My right wrist was severely injured before coming into that match. Even the physiotherapist and doctors said I was taking a huge risk playing in that match, that I could jeopardise my entire career. I think as an athlete, the greatest thing for me was to win a medal for our people.”
- In the 1990s, Paes and Bhupathi were considered the most successful partnership duo. They reached the semi-final of three Grand Slams, the Australian Open, the French Open and the US Open. In 1999, the duo became the first Indian duo to win a doubles event at a Grand Slam.
- In 2000, he got a chance to carry the Indian flag at the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics.
- In 2003, it was suspected that he had a brain tumour after which he was admitted to the MD Anderson Cancer Center, but later, it was cleared that he had a brain infection. While he was recovering from a brain infection, he missed the US Open.
- In 2006, he won two gold medals in the men’s doubles and mixed doubles at the Doha Asian Games.
- In 2010, he became one of the Board of Directors of Olympic Gold Quest that is a foundation co-founded by Geet Sethi and Prakash Padukone to support talented Indian athletes.
- In 2012, he was chosen as the sports ambassador of Haryana by the Government of India.
- In 2013, he made his film debut with the film ‘Rajdhani Express’ and played the role of Keshav.
- In 2013, he won the US Open men’s doubles title and became the oldest man (40-years-old at that time) to win the title.
- In 2015, Leander and Martina Hingis reached the semi-final of the Australian Open mixed doubles. In an interview, he talked about his partnership with Martina and said,
Martina and myself have been playing together for the Washington Kastles at the World Team Tennis and have been unbeaten for two seasons, but somehow we never go together for the Slams. I was too shy to ask Martina to play a Slam with me and she probably felt the same.”
- In 2016, in an interview, his ex-girlfriend, Mahima Chaudhary, opened up about her breakup with Paes and said,
It wasn’t really shocking for me when I came to know that he was going around with someone else. His exit had no impact on my life. In fact, I became more mature as a person. I feel he did the same thing with Rhea (Pillai) as well.”
- In 2016, his daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumour due to which his ex-wife, Rhea Pillai and Leander had to live together.
- On 7 April 2018, after he won his 43rd doubles victory, he became the most successful player in Davis Cup history.
- In 2020, he shared a picture on Instagram of the time when he was six years old and won a sports competition.
- In 2021, when the Olympics were postponed due to COVID-19, he said that he would not wait for the 2024 Olympics and the Rio Olympics in 2016 was his last game. In an interview, he talked about this and said,
If the Tokyo Olympics is cancelled then I have already played my last Olympics in Rio. I am not going to wait for the next Olympics.”
- In 2021, he was featured in a documentary web series ‘Break Point’ on ZEE5 that was based on the partnership of Leander and Mahesh in double matches.
- In 2021, in an interview, he talked about his political venture and said,
The opportunity of joining politics has been coming to me for many years. But this time, it was the right opportunity, the correct time, I was in the right position of my life where I have finished with my tennis career and have the time, space, mind and the passion to give to this (new career in politics).”
- In an interview, he referred to himself as an ‘Olympic baby’ and stated the reason behind this and said,
I am an Olympic baby! If my father was not in Munich in 1972 when Palestinian terrorists took 12 Israeli hostage and the games were not shut down for four days, I would have never happened. I was conceived in those four days. I guess my parents had nothing else better to do and that’s why I am an Olympic baby.”
- He is the first Indian who competed in six Olympic Games consecutively.
- In 2022, it was reported that Kim and Leander were planning a court marriage.
- On 7 May 2022, he played a football match as a part of the All Stars Football Club to raise funds for a charitable cause.
- In 2022, an animation series titled ‘Little Leander,’ based on the life of Paes was shown to children. The series was made by Green Gold Animation, the studio that also made the Chota Bheem series. In an interview, he talked about the animation series and said,
I have a lot of free time now that I’ve retired from professional tennis after 31 years. I’ve already dabbled with acting through films and documentaries, but one of my biggest ambitions is to inspire and motivate today’s youth all around the world to pursue sports as a career.”
- He is an avid dog lover and often posts pictures of them on social media.
- He is often featured on various magazine covers.
- He is a fitness freak and often posts pictures of his workout on social media.