Indian tennis ace Leander Paes has dropped hints that he has reached the fag end of his stellar career even though he is ready to play for the flag with full commitment and passion under newly appointed non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi.
Asked if he will think of retiring if it gets to that, Paes replied:”You will see.”
“I play for fun now. I play because I love the game, because I am passionate about the game. There will come a point when the curtain comes down. Before the curtain comes down, a big thank you to you all. It’s been a fun run, you guys have been awesome with me for 20 years, so thanks,” Leander said on the sidelines of the Chennai Open.
With Mahesh Bhupathi taking over as the non-playing captain of the Indian Davis Cup team, Paes was asked the obvious question knowing his ‘blow-hot-blow cold’ relationship with his former doubles partner.
“People out there need to have credentials to be the captain and he (Bhupathi) has got credentials to be captain. In the next 18 months, we will see how it goes,” Paes told PTI during an exclusive chat.
Asked if he will be comfortable having Bhupathi in the captain’s chair, Paes retorted,”Why not?”
“Country comes first. No egos. As far as I am concerned, there has never been ego. If you have to achieve excellence, you have to be student of life. Captain sits on the bench, helps you out with a few things but at the end of the day, I am out there representing the country.
So for me, whether it was Ramesh Krishnan, SP Misra, Naresh Kumar, my first captain, Anand Amritraj or Jaideep Mukherjee or Mahesh, I have one job to do and that is to represent country,” Paes emphasised.