This comes almost a year after Paes had announced his ‘One Last Roar’ tagline terming 2020 to be the last year of his professional career which was supposed to be culminating with the Tokyo Olympics.
“None of us then imagined we would get hit by such a big pandemic. It has made all of us introspect. But, after this long break I feel happy. I have no doubt in my mind that physically, emotionally and mentally I would be ready,” Paes said during a promotional event.
The greatest doubles player of all time who will turn 48 by the time he turns out at the Tokyo Olympics during July 2021 maintained that age is just a number and it’s the motivation that matters.
“I already have the record at seven and I have 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 am hoping Tokyo comes around, the event happens. Age is just a number. The tennis ball doesn’t know the age of the human being hitting the ball. It understands power, spin. It’s what we do matters.”
Paes who is India’s only Olympic medal winner in tennis said that he is sweating it out to win another medal before retiring. “I am working very hard. It’s not about the participation. You guys have known me, if I am going to the Olympics, I am going for winning and not just for putting up numbers.”
The veteran maintained that it doesn’t matter whom he pairs up with till the time he is out there representing the country. “When it comes to Olympics, regardless of which partner I play with, as long as India represents itself to get the world record of eighth appearance, I am fine. Like I have done in the past, I have played with Mahesh, Rohan, Sania in the Olympics. Everything I have done is for the flag, our community.”