Paes, 46, announces 2020 will be his final year as a professional

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - Mixed Doubles Second Round
FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - Mixed Doubles Second Round  

(Reuters) - India's veteran tennis player Leander Paes announced on Wednesday that 2020 would be his "farewell year" as a professional before he hangs up his racket.

The 46-year-old, who started his professional career in 1991, has won 18 doubles and mixed doubles Grand Slam titles and a bronze medal in the singles at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Paes won a total of 54 doubles titles in a career spanning three decades, partnering more than 100 players. He is also the most successful doubles player in the history of the Davis Cup with 43 victories in 56 matches.

"I want to announce 2020 as my farewell year as a pro tennis player," Paes wrote on Twitter where he also thanked his family for their support.

"I am looking forward to the 2020 tennis calendar where I will be playing a few select tournaments, traveling with my team 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."

At the peak of his career at the turn of the century, Paes was ranked No. 1 in the doubles circuit along with partner Mahesh Bhupathi, with whom he won three Grand Slam titles.

The duo won 26 doubles titles as a pairing between 1997 and 2011.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Edmund Blair)


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