As Leander Paes embarks on the final year of his career, The Bridge encapsulates the legacy of the now 46-year-old by delving into the numbers that have defined his incredible tennis journey. Here are 29 of the most significant statistics from the 29 years of Paes in tennis.
Despite all the doubles success, Paes has won just the solitary ATP singles title, which came at the Hall of Fame Open in Newport, USA in July 1996, when he got the better of South African Neville Godwin.
In 2010, Paes became only the second man in history to triumph at Wimbledon in three different decades (matching Rod Laver) when he clinched the mixed doubles title with Cara Black.
Martina Hingis from Switzerland has been Paes’ most successful partner on the big occasions in mixed doubles, with the pair winning four Grand Slams.
The number of American partners Paes has had in his mixed doubles career- more than from any other nation- with the most celebrated being Martina Navratilova
The percentage of aces (out of all points served) Paes has struck in his entire singles career.
The age at which Paes first set foot on a tennis court.
The number of ATP doubles tournaments Paes won with Mahesh Bhupathi in consecutive years (1997 and 1998), marking the rise of one of India’s most famous sporting double acts.
The number of consecutive Olympic Games Paes participated in between 1992 and 2016, making him the first Indian and the only tennis player to do so. He is now set for an eighth and final Olympic appearance at Tokyo 2020.
For all his accomplishments, Paes is no stranger to disappointment on the grand stage, having lost eight major (Grand Slam) finals in mixed doubles, including both his attempts with Russian Elena Vesnina.
A dozen years separated Paes’ spells of partnership with Australian Samantha Stosur in mixed doubles, which began in 2006-07, before resuming in 2019.
The age at which Paes briefly rose to world number one in junior tennis after achieving singles glory at Wimbledon. Paes would turn professional the following year in 1991.
Paes has combined with a total of 17 Indians in his remarkable doubles career, with Sania Mirza being the only female compatriot to have lined up alongside Paes.
Paes has enjoyed decades of stellar results in doubles, with a staggering tally of 18 Grand Slam titles, eight of which are in men’s doubles and the remaining 10 in the mixed category.
Paes teamed up with Canadian Daniel Nestor for the first time in 19 years in 2013, following his first association with Nestor in men’s doubles in 1994, making this the longest spell Paes has had to wait for a reunion with a former teammate.
The most consecutive Davis Cup doubles victories is another milestone that Paes has attained- between 1997 and 2010- with none other than Mahesh Bhupathi.
The total number of men’s doubles titles Paes won with Mahesh Bhupathi, including three memorable Grand Slams.
The number of ATP Challenger titles Paes has to his credit over the years.
Paes has spent an impressive 39 weeks at the top of the ATP doubles rankings during his career, all of which were consecutive. Currently, Paes’ doubles ranking is a more humbling 105.
The record for most Davis Cup doubles victories is held by Paes, two more than Italian Nicola Pietrangeli.
The number of times Paes has lost a men’s doubles final, including eight losses at Grand Slams.
The number of men’s doubles titles Paes has secured as a professional.
The highest rank Paes has managed to climb to as a singles player, which he held in August 1998.
Beginning 1997 ranked 89 in the world, Paes jumped 75 spots in the ATP doubles rankings to end the year in 14th place in what was his breakthrough season as a doubles player. 1997 also saw Paes record his best singles showing at a Grand Slam, reaching the third round at the US Open.
The number of different partners Paes has had as a doubles player, with 130 teammates in men’s doubles and 25 in the mixed category.
The astounding number of victories the “Indian Express”- the duo of Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi- have conjured up as part of their illustrious partnership.
These are the number of occasions when Paes has come out on top in a men’s doubles contest, having also endured 455 losses along the way.
With doubles taking over his priorities, Paes’ singles game soon faded out, with 1032 being his most frequent singles rank, a position he has held for 56 weeks in his career.
The amount of prize money (in USD) Paes has accumulated over his exceptional career.
*All statistics mentioned in this article have been updated till 2 January 2020.