Keeping pace with Paes

Model Talk

Keeping pace with Paes

Leander Paes

Waving to familiar faces in the crowd of fashion followers and party people, he chatted amiably about his passion for tennis, his penchant for Italian brands and his personal style  statement. “I love the cut fit and drape of Italian clothes. They flatter almost anybody and are easy to wear and carry off. I also love a lot of Indian designers and the fine craftsmanship that goes into the making of their clothes.” he smiles.

Coming from a family of high velocity sports achievers, playing sports competitively in the international arena comes naturally to the tennis star. “ My parents represented India. My mother Jennifer played basketball for the country while my father Vece played football. There is something very awe inspiring when you put on the Indian colours and become aware that you are representing a billion people in the eyes of the world.” he says.

Passionate about fitness and discipline, the 36-year-old follows a fanatical exercise regime and refrains from eating unhealthy food or consuming alcohol. “ Your body responds to the way you treat it. I virtually carry my gym around with me when I travel  and workout every single day. I am also very careful about nursing myself back to fitness if I suffer an injury to ensure that I am in proper form when I take to the court again.” he says. He loves the Bangalore weather and the cosmopolitan character of the city.

In spite of his slew of triumphs, (the latest being the US, French Open with Lukas Dloughy in June this year beating Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles in a exciting finish), Leander is not content resting on his laurels. “I am looking forward to the Commonwealth Games and want to better my bronze in the  London 2012 Olympic games .” he says.

About the future of tennis in the  country he opines,“While infrastructure and coaching facilities  have improved considerably over the last decade, we do need a state-of-the-art sports science centre that which will train our  athletes at all levels from an early age. My dream is to  train youngsters to achieve true greatness on the court.”

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