I have guts to go after my goals: Paes
New York: If at an age of 42 Leander Paes is thriving and still winning the Grand Slam trophies it because he has “guts” to go after his targets.
Paes combined with Swiss great Martina Hingis to win a record ninth Mixed Doubles Grand Slam title as they beat American combo of Sam Querrey and Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the US Open final.
Soon after he won his historic US Open title, Paes said more than the technique it is his never-say-die spirit that has got him success.
“Martina said something that was quite interesting. She said you have to have the guts to go after something, and I don’t believe that I personally have the technique or the caliber of talent that Martina has. One thing I do have is the guts. I will go for it. It’s been part of my whole life is about perseverance, just trying to find a way to succeed,” Paes said after his win, which made him the most successful male tennis player in the mixed doubles format.
He has now won nine mixed doubles major titles and trails behind only Martina Navratilova (10). Paes said chemistry is key to any partnership and he enjoys a great relation with Martina Hingis, who is phenomenal player.
“Sometimes the chips are against you, sometimes they fool you. What I love about this teamwork is that in any partnership there’s got to be one person who brings the energy to the team. There’s got to be one person who takes all the pressure on their shoulder and drives the team forward.
“I know if I can keep Martina happy, if I can keep her relaxed, the tennis I don’t even have to worry about. This young girl is phenomenal on the tennis court and off of it,” he said.
Paes also said that they train hard before the matches but at the same training has never been a stress for them. “We actually have our best times when we are on the practice court. Like yesterday, we were there yesterday. We were on the practice court before the Australian Open. We were on for like two hours practising for a final. Just having fun. I learn a lot from her.”
It was the third mixed doubles crown of the year for Paes and Hingis, who defeated Daniel Nestor and Kristina Mladenovic in the Australian Open final and beat Alexander Peya and Timea Babos in the Wimbledon title match. They are the first team since 1969 and second in the Open Era to capture three of four majors in a calendar year.