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Indian Tennis: Hingis or Navratilova - Who was Leander Paes' favourite doubles partner? 

Indian Tennis: Hingis or Navratilova - Who was Leander Paes favourite doubles partner? 

The Bridge Desk

Published: 3 Nov 2020 10:37 AM GMT

Indian tennis ace and Olympic medal winner Leander Paes is keen to play a record eighth Olympics in Tokyo. In a Instagram session with fellow tennis player Purav Raja called "Chai with Raja", Leander expressed his desire to play the Tokyo Olympics.

He was, however, caught in a dilemma when asked to decide between Martina Navratilova and Martina Hingis, as his favourite mixed doubles partner. Leander chose the latter as Navratilova guided him, while Hingis let him play the way he chose.

Paes had earlier admitted if he is still able to withstand the rigours of the physically demanding ATP tour, the credit goes to legendary Martina Navratilova, who transformed him into a fitness freak.

Navratilova, winner of an incredible 59 Grand Slam titles including 18 singles, teamed up with Paes in the latter part of her astonishing career. The two of her 10 mixed doubles Grand Slam trophies — Wimbledon and Australian Open in 2003 — came with Paes. She was the oldest player on Tour and was active when she was nearing 50.

Martina Hingis first won the singles title here as a 17-year old back in 1997. She won again in 1998. And in 1999. Oh, she's also won the women's doubles title here five times. And the mixed doubles on a couple of occasions as well. Of the 22 Grand Slam titles Hingis has won over her remarkable career, nearly half have come at the Australian Open.

One of those -- the mixed doubles in 2015 -- came in the company of her partner today. Leander Paes and Hingis have been the blue riband mixed doubles team over the last couple of years. They won three of the four slams in 2015 and another one in 2016 at the French Open. Paes doesn't have as many Grand slam trophies in his cabinet as Hingis, but with 18, he isn't that far behind. Between them, the pair have a small matter of 40 majors.

Also read: Singles tennis still tends to remain highly expensive for India

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