On Wednesday, the legendary Tennis star Leander Peas announced his retirement, leaving his fans and the tennis world baffled. To make this announcement, Paes took to Twitter and declared that he will bring the curtains down on his glorious 29-year-long career in 2020.
After spending two decades at the top, the 46-year-old has decided that 2020 will be his farewell season on the Pro-circuit. Paes shared a note accompanied with a visual that depicted him with various trophies and an image of his Olympic bronze medal, and it read, “One Last Roar”.
He began the note with the Christmas greetings and then proceeded with his retirement declaration. He stated, “I want to announce 2020 as my farewell year as a pro tennis player”.
He further expressed his heartfelt gratitude to his family, and friends. He acknowledged the “unconditional love” and “unstinting support” of his parents and elder sisters, Jacquie and Maria, who guided him and created a conducive environment for him to grow and learn. He added that his daughter, Aiyana, is “the most beautiful thing in the world” and has always been his inspiration.
After thanking his followers and supporters, he outlined his plans for the next year by adding, “I am looking forward to the 2020 tennis calendar where I will be playing a few select tournaments… and celebrating with all my friends and fans around the world. It is all of you who have inspired me to become me and I want to take this year to say ‘thank you’ to you”.
In this post, he also asked his fans to share their favorite ‘Leander memories’ over the years using #OneLastRoar and tagging him.
While signing off, he wrote, “2020 is going to be an emotional one and I look forward to seeing all of you out there Roaring with me. It's been an honour being your LionHeart”.
Here's what Leander tweeted for his fans:
Illustrious career of the Tennis icon
Born to Olympian parents Dr Vece Paes and Jennifer, Leander has been one of the most prolific sportspersons of all time. He remains the first and the only tennis player to compete at seven Olympic games, being an active participant consecutively in the tournament from 1992 to 2016. He is the only Indian to clinch an Olympic medal in the singles in Tennis – a bronze at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Apart from this feat, he has several other records registered to his name.
The tennis veteran is considered the most successful doubles player in the history of Davis Cup. Being the former team captain, he holds the record for the most Davis Cup doubles wins with 44 victories.
In men's doubles, he won French Open and US Open thrice in 1999, 2001 and 2009 and 2006, 2009 and 2013, respectively. He also sealed victory in the Australian Open tournament in 2012 and won the Wimbledon once in 1999.
He registered 18 Grand Slam titles to his name as well. Overall, he bagged victory among the four most crucial tournaments eighteen times.