The game of tennis has been a number of legendary players who graced the courts. From the likes of Rod Laver in the past to the current World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. One of the decorated doubles players and Indian tennis icon Leander Paes names the player he finds to be above all, and no surprise, its Roger Federer.
Back in December 2019, Leander Paes announced that he will retire by the end of 2020. The former world no. 1 and a staggering 18 times Grand Slam doubles winner was present in a recent interview session with the Times of India, where he discussed his future and post-retirement plans, as well as on his doubles partners and memorable moments from his long spanning careers.
However, when asked about Roger Federer, the 46 year old revered him as the greatest player of all time.
“To me, Federer is the greatest player of all time. Rod Laver has won the full Grand Slam as an amateur and as a pro, but to me Roger with what he has done in his career is phenomenal on every surface.” Paes told TOI.
A record 20 times Grand Slam singles winner, Federer is loved and admired by millions of followers, and Paes is no different, as he recalled one incident 20 years ago.
He continued: “I beat him at the Indian Wells qualifying in 2000. Federer was an upcoming player then. He rifled a backhand against me with straight arm, straight up the line that went like a laser beam. My god, I had never seen anyone do that. Not even Andre Agassi.”
The Swiss veteran is renowned for his stellar backhand stokes, and even Paes was in awe when he saw a young Federer in action.
However, Paes believes that its going to be none other than Rafael Nadal who will topple Federer’s 20 Grand Slam tally in no time: “But I feel Nadal is going to overtake Federer’s tally of 20 Slam wins.”
The 33 year old Spaniard is on 19 Grand Slam titles, the second-most in history for a male player.