The situation went from bad to worse in the Indian tennis world, as the dirty war between country’s top tennis players has broken out in open. After a controversial tweet by doubles world number one Sania Mirza, seven-time Olympian Leander Paes has reverted back with a fitting reply.
Touted as India’s most successful tennis player – Leander Paes’ career has always remained in controversies despite his numerous magnificent achievements on the tennis court. The 43-year old has won 18 Grand Slam (Doubles and Mixed Doubles) and has represented India for more than two decades.
Paes believes this is nothing more than a false propaganda to tarnish his image, according to him it is initiated by a few of his “highly jealous” competitors. However, he refrained from pointing out fingers in open and did not take any names but said the negativity that is being built around his name.
The champion athlete holds a special place in India’s tennis circuit and is among one of the most respected sportspersons in the country. He proudly held India’s flag at various world events, be it the Olympics, Asian Games, Davis Cup, and other professional tournaments.
During the post-match conference after recently concluded Davis Cup tie against Spain, Paes told PTI in an interview, “In this part of my career, most of my competitors are highly jealous. They might not understand what it takes to win 18 Grand Slams and play seven Olympics. Some competitors, you give them 10 lifetimes, they will still not be able to achieve that. Instead of working hard, they want to knock me down.”
“They want to ruin my reputation by doing ulterior things so that the perception of the public is that Leander is a bad man. It takes a whole lifetime to build a reputation and it takes one second to ruin it.”
“In this modern age of social media, I understand there will be some negativity. The people who are true and honest, whether they are good with me or not, I respect them.”
“Few people are always trying to tarnish my reputation. There are some competitors out there, who are highly jealous of what I have achieved. Instead of working hard, to achieve it themselves, they realize, they can’t to that quantum, so hence, let’s ruin his reputation. One person will put one story here, one there and build perception,” he further added.
Paes also said that he doesn’t think much about what his haters think or perceive about him, and believes he will continue to do what he does best i.e. to shut their mouth by achieving more glory on the tennis courts.
“Not to worry about haters. You play your game, you run in your lane, don’t enter into others’ lane. I will write my name in the history books. That is the fruit of your hard work.”
“People, believe it or not, media write or not, but the intelligent people, the knowledgeable people will see history books and I have written my name their many times and will write many more times. That can’t change, you can’t forge a history book and you can’t change history books.”
“In this modern age of living in the limelight, everybody wants to be a hero. People will bark, let them bark, they will look bad themselves. I will run my race. Till a junior comes and says ‘Lee I am beating you all the time’, till I am winning Grand Slams, I will continue to play. I had to earn it and others will also have to earn it.”
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