Friday, November 18, 2005

Leander Still Gets It Done

It's hard to believe Leander Paes is already in the twilight of his distinguished career. He's unmistakably got on a bit, and his body has obviously not always behaved the way he would have wanted it to over the past couple of years. But there's still a competitive fire burning within his stout heart, that's for sure. Watching him in action after quite a while at the Masters in Shanghai brought a certain joy and many memories, some of them somewhat poignant but mostly delightful. To be fair, his Serbian partner Nenad Zimonjic was the sharper of the two in the thriller against the Bryan brothers and Leander's serve was easily the weakest in the field; however, there was the familiar Paes spirit on show besides some clever net play. He may have suffered a few injuries and a freak infection of the brain, but his fitness level is amazing considering he is well past the dreaded 30-year barrier. Playing only doubles has allowed Paes to concentrate on his strength and also ensured an increased longevity in the game. Although no longer a force to reckon with at the world group level because of Paes' decline as a singles player, his presence is still a morale booster for India's Davis Cup squad. One must admit though, that, it's now time to wonder what it would be like for the squad after the inevitable happens. For the time being, though, one can only enjoy what Paes serves up with considerable panache and passion. - NK


Blogger unsui said...

For one thing I always felt that Leander was one example to show to our pampered cricketers pride to play for the nation, and to go that extra mile in crunch situation. Thankfully we have an Aussie task Master at helm of affairs, hope lousy politics and wussy cricketers ( with loads of ego) don't get rid of him

1:15 AM  

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