Indian tennis great Leander Paes put his weight behind Mahesh Bhupathi, who has been appointed as non-playing captain of the Indian Davis Cup team, and also hinted at calling time on his professional tennis career over the next few months.
“I have got a few people new on my team that are going to help me in the last few months of my playing career and my post-tennis career,”
Paes won 18 doubles and mixed doubles grand slam titles, singles bronze at the 1996 Olympics and recorded some stunning wins for India in Davis Cup play.
“I want to thank my father (Dr. Vece Paes) to Sanjay Singh to Dave Herman to Geetika to Rick Leach to Martin Damm… the list just keeps on going on. And now I have new people joining my team in the last few months of my playing career and my
“I think it’s a time to transcend and not just be a six-time winner but to create someone who is winning for the first time and help him
“I play for fun now and I play because I’m passionate about the game. There always comes a point when the curtain comes down and before that happens, a thank you to all of you for a fun run. You guys have been there for this 20-year run.”
Bhupathi will succeed Anand Amritraj as non-playing captain after the New Zealand tie in Pune next month.
“People out there need to have credentials to be the captain and he (Bhupathi) has got credentials to be captain. In the next 18 months, we will see how it goes," Paes told PTI news agency.
“So for me, whether it was Ramesh Krishnan, SP Misra, Naresh Kumar, my first captain, Anand Amritraj or Jaideep Mukherjee or Mahesh, I have one job to do and that is to represent the country,” Paes added.