Kolkata: Just a year ago on the Christmas Day, Indian tennis legend Leander Paes had said that he will draw curtains to his illustrious career in 2020. Paes had announced his ‘One Last Roar’ tagline.
However, the outbreak of COVID-19 has forced the Atlanta Olympics bronze medallist to alter his decision.
“None of us then imagined that we would get hit by such a big pandemic. It has made all of us introspect…,” Paes said at a promotional event here on Friday.
“But after this long break, I feel happy. I’ve no doubt in my mind that physically, mentally and emotionally I would be ready.
“For me it’s very important to ensure that India’s name stays in the history books and that is why I’ve continued my career for 30 years,” Paes said.
The Indian tennis icon said he is preparing hard to take part in next year’s Tokyo Games to make it a record eighth straight Olympic appearance. The legendary Paes would turn 48 by the time Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to begin on July 23.
“I already have the record at seven and I’ve the motivation that if I can push that up to eight Olympics, my belief is that India forever will stay in the history books as the most number of Olympics played in tennis. I’m hoping Tokyo comes around, the event happens.”
Paes had won India its only Olympic medal in tennis at 1996 Atlanta Olympics.