Russia is a formidable opponent both in singles and doubles: Paes

KOLKATA: Indian tennis ace Leander Paes, feels India stands a good chance of beating Russia in the Davis Cup later this year.“Russia is a formidable opponent both in singles and doubles especially at home. I think we too have a good chance of winning the encounter. We will certainly put our best foot forward,” he said during a media interaction.

He was felicitated by the Bengal Tennis Association’s felicitation for winning his 11th Grand Slam title.Leander and Cara Black won the mixed doubles title at the Australian Open.He said he and his partner got the maximum satisfaction not in winning the crown but coming through successfully in the semifinals.

“We were down one set and 0-4. The way we came through the tough match gave us immense satisfaction,” he said.Paes felt Somdev Devvarman and Yuki Bhambri would carry India’s Davis Cup dreams in future.“I am a big supporter of Somdev. His single minded focus to tennis is something I admire most. I am also pleased with the way Yuki is shaping up. He deserves all support,” he said.

Claiming the first Grand Slam win as his best, he said, “before winning the first one, there was always a doubt whether one can achieve it. Once you win the first Grand Slam the rest falls in place”.He said he always valued playing for the country utmost. “winning the Atlanta Olympics bronze medal and numerous Davis Cup victories are more valuable and meaningful to me than all the Slams put together,” he said.

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