Paes, Bhupathi and the frying pan challenge!
It’s little wonder why several observers reckon Leander Paes can extend his career beyond the Tokyo Olympics.
Cooped up in his home, under the national lockdown enforced by the coronavirus outbreak, Leander Paes perhaps showed just why he is a legend in the Indian tennis circuit.
While multiple Grand Slam winner Roger Federer kept himself occupied by bouncing a tennis ball against the wall with his racquet, 1996 Olympics bronze medallist Leander Paes went a step further.
The 46-year-old Indian tennis veteran recorded himself bouncing a tennis ball against the wall with a frying pan instead of a racquet while talking to the camera, creating his own challenge in the process.
His former doubles partner Mahesh Bhupathi, who had retired a few years back and was the Indian tennis’ team’s non-playing captain in the Davis Cup, was quick to appreciate his counterpart’s skills, to which Leander Paes asked him to post one of his own performing the skill.
It seems like a bit of encouragement was all that Mahesh Bhupathi needed and he came up with the goods, with yet another slight twist in the tale.
Throwback to the glory days
Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi enjoyed great success as a team with the Indian tennis duo winning both the French Open and Wimbledon doubles titles in 1999 and were also the first pair to reach the finals of all Grand Slams in the Open era.
Dubbed ‘Lee-Hesh’, they were also ranked world no. 1 in the men’s doubles and during 1995-2010, did not lose a single match when playing together for the Indian tennis team in the Davis Cup.
The camaraderie between them, albeit on social media, was a refreshing change and reminiscent of their glory days, allowing younger Indian tennis fans a glimpse of their friendship which yielded great results over the years.