Sunday, November 28, 2021

Leander Paes’ mantra for kids: Work a little extra

Leander Paes shared tips on how to play the game and encouraged them to “think like champions".

By: Express News Service | Pune |
February 7, 2017 6:38:48 am
Indian players Leander Paes during practice session at Chandigarh Club on Wednesday, July 13 2016. Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh *** Local Caption *** Indian players Leander Paes during practice session at Chandigarh Club on Wednesday, July 13 2016. Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh practice session at Chandigarh Club on Wednesday, July 13 2016. Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh Paes is the first Indian and only tennis player to compete at seven Olympic Games. (Source: Express Photo)

Indian Davis Cup record-holder Leander Paes and Yonex Sunrise conducted an educative-cum-motivational clinic for children, titled “Demo Day with Leander Paes” at the MSLTA School of Tennis Practice Court at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mhalunge-Balewadi, on Sunday. The clinic aimed at helping the children hone their skills through a one-on-one interactive session with one of India’s most decorated tennis player. The session had over 75 kids from various tennis academies. Paes also shared tips on how to play the game and encouraged them to “think like champions”. “Whatever you want to achieve… becoming a doctor, astronaut or tennis player, work a little extra,” said Paes.

During the session, the children sported t-shirts emblazoned with ‘Yonex Leander Army’, made by Yonex Sunrise, to be worn during Paes’s historic doubles match on Saturday, February 4.

On Saturday, Leander set a Davis Cup world record by playing his 55th doubles rubber against Artem Sitak and Michael Venus in the ongoing Davis Cup India-New Zealand Group 1 Asia/ Oceania Round 1 encounter.

During the clinic, the children were divided into two batches.

Paes was assisted by current Indian Coach Zeeshan Ali, who also partnered him during the Davis Cup tie against Japan in 1990, Chandigarh. Paes-Zeeshan won the rubber in the fifth set, by a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 18-16 margin after a five-hour battle. That fifth set is still the longest in Indian Davis Cup.

Product Head, Tennis Yonex Sunrise, Rahul Saraf, said, “Leander has inspired many generations of tennis players and sportsmen in our country. He remains a sportsperson everybody looks up to and thus it was prudent to involve him. Yonex is committed to supporting junior players and focuses on providing them with top-quality gear and devoted service on all levels to create future Leander Paes.”

MSLTA Secretary and Tournament Director (India-New Zealand tie), Sunder Iyer said, “To have an Indian tennis icon teach children the finer nuances of the game is a big motivation. Paes is the greatest ambassador of the game. The children are lucky to learn first hand from Paes.”

Meanwhile, local lad Rehan Mali, who impressed Paes after engaging in a long rally, was rewarded for his effort with a kit courtesy by Yonex Sunrise.

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