The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has put Leander Paes plans on hold to complete record 100 Grand Slam appearances before hanging his boots. Last December, the legendary Indian Tennis ace had announced he’d walk away from professional tennis at the end 2020 season. Paes has so far made 97 Grand Slam appearances and is just three shy of touching the magical three-figure mark.Also Read - LIVE Tokyo Olympics 2020 Live Score Today, Day 15 Latest Updates: Wrestler Bajrang Punia Advances to Quarterfinals; India Lose 3-4 vs GBR in Bronze Playoff
However, the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic might not allow the veteran Tennis player to get to the landmark. The 46-year-old Paes had announced that 2020 would be his last season as a professional player but his plan to bid adieu on a high with a record eight appearance at the Olympics was stalled by the pandemic, which has wrecked the sporting calendar. Also Read - Netizens Call Farhan Akhtar ‘Male Version of Alia Bhatt’ For Congratulating Women’s Hockey Team Instead of Men's Team at Tokyo Olympics
“Olympics is still far away. As of now, I find it difficult to believe that sports will start by July or August. Would it start October or November, who knows. But my team and I are very well prepared that when the lockdown opens up, we will revaluate then and look at ‘One Last Roar’ as season whether we should look at 2021 or not,” Paes told table tennis player Mudit Dani on his chat show ‘Sportlight’. Also Read - PM Narendra Modi Hails Wrestler Ravi Dahiya For Winning Silver Medal at Tokyo Olympics 2020
Further talking about his plans, Paes said there one piece is statistics he would like to get.
“I have played 97 Grand Slams so far and if I play 3 more, it will be 100 so that moves me. Also getting to the eighth Olympics to make sure India is forever on the top as the most number of Olympics played by a tennis player.”
“That is the benchmark I would like to push. But even if I don’t get there, still I’m happy with what I’ve done and the career I have,” said the winner of 18 majors.
After turning Pro in 1991, Paes won the coveted bronze medal in men’s singles competition at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. It was only his second Olympics appearance. Between 1992 and 2016, Paes has competed at every Olympics, making him the only Indian to feature in seven Olympics Games.