Having won the men’s doubles first round Olympic match against Jean Julien Rojer and Robin Haase of The Netherlands,India’s tennis legend Leander Paes was all praise for his unheralded partner Vishnu Vardhan,stating that he felt extremely comfortable with the youngster on the court.
“Any player who ages gracefully needs a great partner. And for me it’s the first match. I am really impressed with how comfortable we (with Vishnu) feel together on the court,” said Paes after the match last night.
“It’s amazing how someone who can work hard,keep things simple and put himself on the line every day can produce some great stuff.
“Two months ago,it would have been a dream come true to be where we are today,but today,being where we are I have got to commend my coach who has worked with Vishnu very hard over the last three weeks and I also have to commend my dad for getting Vishnu to London early,” he added.
Paes and Vardhan,ranked 208 in the world,struggled to win the first set and lost their rhythm to concede the second set. But they bounced back brilliantly in decider to clinch the issue 7-6 (1) 4-6 6-2 yesterday and keep their hopes alive in the competition.
Paes said despite being the more experienced of the two,he hardly took any extra pressure on himself.
“My role was to be myself — some of the best partners that I have had have actually complemented me naturally. I think that this is my 94th partner that I have had in men’s doubles alone,” said Paes.
Stating that the court was playing really good,Paes said: “Every court is different,it’s just a matter of getting used to it. I know this place like the back of my hand so I know how each court plays.
“It’s important to get comfortable on it and set a strategy; this is a knockout tournament — if you don’t win then you are out.”