Prime Sports, National (Kolkata), July 17:- Tennis legend Leander Paes will wait for the game to start again in full flow on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic before taking a call on his peerless career spanning three decades.
Paes, who turned 47 recently, had announced that 2020 would be his ‘One Last Roar’ season and Tokyo Olympic Games was expected to be his swansong event but the global pandemic crisis put paid to his plans.
“Right now the most important thing is health and safety. Now is not the right time to plan a full tennis calendar. Now is the time to look after our family and our community,” Paes told IANS in an exclusive interview.
“The US Open is supposed to happen in August-September, the French Open is slated for October. But I am seeing the surge of COVID-19 cases going up in America. For us Indian players, it is not possible to travel at the moment. I feel global travel for a profession like tennis will only be completely safe once the vaccine is developed and available.
“In tennis, we are playing a global sport. We have to travel all over the world week after week. We travel from airports to hotels to stadiums and public places. To restaurants and hence in this situation, it becomes difficult,” said Paes who wants to leave behind a legacy by playing his eighth successive Olympics, which has now been postponed to 2021.
“My whole team is enjoying a well-deserved break after 30 years of hard work and we will evaluate the situation once the tennis tour realistically looks at starting in full flow again,” said the winner of 18 Grand Slams. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).