Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek denied Bob and Mike Bryan their record 12th Grand Slam doubles title, beating the American twins 7-6 (1), 6-2 in the final of the Australian Open.
Paes and Stepanek are veteran doubles players but were teaming up for just the fourth time. Before partnering for a tuneup event at Sydney earlier this month, where they lost to the Bryan brothers, the Indian and Czech duo hadn’t played together for nearly six years.
For the 38-year-old Paes, the victory marks a career milestone. By winning the Australian Open, he completed a career doubles Grand Slam, adding to his three French Open titles, two U.S. Open titles and one Wimbledon title.
“It’s many years of hard work,” Paes said. “I put in many, many years. I have been in 25 plus years into the game of tennis, and it’s given me so much. The reason I can still win Grand Slams is, one, I know how to pick great partners; and, two, I’m very passionate about my daily schedule.
“Every day I put myself on the line, and that’s a lot of fun.”
Leander was born in Kolkata formerly known as Calcutta, India. Paes is the great-grandson of the Bengali poet Michael Madhusudan Dutt.