Indian tennis veteran Leander Paes will begin the next stop of his ‘The Last Roar’ farewell tour at the ATP 500 Dubai Tennis Championships on Monday.
The Olympic bronze medallist and his steady doubles partner, Australian Matthew Ebden, were granted a wildcard for the men’s doubles round of 16, where they will take on the second-seeded pairing of Croatia’s Ivan Dodig and Slovakia’s Filip Polasek.
Earlier this year, Leander Paes announced his intention to call it a career after 2020. The 18-time Grand Slam winner is still seeking the first victory of his farewell tour after suffering a final-round loss at the Bengaluru Tennis Open and premature exits from the Tata Open Maharashtra and Australian Open earlier in the year.
A formidable challenge will await Leander Paes and Matthew Ebden on Monday, as Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek’s last partnership saw them persevere as far as the semi-final at the Australian Open in January.
Regardless of the outcome, Leander Paes is expecting a fair bit of patronage at the event. The 46-year-old Indian tennis star had earlier told Gulf News, “Dubai, where I have always enjoyed great support from the Indian diaspora, will certainly be one of my last stops.”
Rohan Bopanna also with doubles main draw shot
Unlike Leander Paes, India’s top-ranked doubles tennis player Rohan Bopanna will have to earn a spot in the men's doubles main draw. Teamed up alongside Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta, Rohan Bopanna beat Lukas Rosol and Viktor Troicki 6-4, 7-5 in Saturday's qualifier.
Singles wildcard for Prajnesh Gunneswaran
No. 1 ranked Indian tennis player Prajnesh Gunneswaran has also been granted a wildcard in the Dubai Tennis Championships for the men's singles main draw. His round-of-32 opponent will be decided via the ongoing qualifiers.
The two-time ATP Challenger winner is coming off disappointment round-of-16 elimination at the Bengaluru Tennis Open and the Tata Open Maharashtra.
Where to watch the Dubai Tennis Championships 2020
Live coverage of the Dubai Tennis Championships 2020 can be enjoyed on Sony Pictures Sports Network and the Sony Liv app.