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Leander Paes has recorded the 750th doubles match win of his career by partnering fellow Indian Rohan Bopanna to victory in a Davis Cup tie.

Tribute: Paes Records 750th Doubles Match Win

ATPWorldTour.com pays tribute to Leander Paes, who has recorded his 750 doubles match win

Leander Paes continues to span the sport’s generations, entertaining with the same youthful enthusiasm and passion that he first showcased 29 seasons ago. The evergreen Indian, a feisty competitor with a familar smile never far away, has today become the sixth player in ATP World Tour history (since 1973) to record 750 doubles match wins (750-433).

It is perhaps apt, that the 44-year-old hit the milestone on Davis Cup duty by recording his 43rd doubles victory for India since his debut in March 1990, to break the long-standing team match wins record of Italy's Nicola Pietrangeli. In tandem with Rohan Bopanna, the duo has kept India in its Asia/Oceania Group I tie versus China on Saturday.

Only five other players – Mike Bryan, 45-year-old Daniel Nestor, who is in his final year as a pro, Bob Bryan, Todd Woodbridge and Max Mirnyi – have compiled a greater number of doubles victories than one of Asia’s finest sportsmen.

DOUBLES MATCH WINS LEADERS (Since 1973)
Paes is the sixth player in ATP World Tour history to attain 750 doubles match wins (as of 7 April 2018).

Player
Career Doubles Match Record
1) Mike Bryan (USA)
1,073-341
2=) Daniel Nestor (CAN)
1,059-477
2=) Bob Bryan (USA)
1,059-338
4) Todd Woodbridge (AUS)
782-260
5) Max Mirnyi (BLR)
761-427
6) Leander Paes (IND)
750-433

Paes has nothing to prove in his 45th year, but has no intention of stopping. The sport fascinates him.

"As crazy as it sounds, I am still learning and recently picked up a few things about the return of serve," Paes told ATPWorldTour.com. "The sport is so dynamic that it changes so fast. I feel as if I have had to reinvent myself over the years. The trick is to stay young, to stay fast and to stay injury free in order to stay potent on the tennis court. After all these years, I take pride in commanding the court and leading the play. It's something that pushes me, even on the hard days."

Incredibly, there are 43 players in the current Top 100 of the ATP Rankings and 21 players in the Top 100 of the ATP Doubles Rankings who weren’t born when Paes first began his journey from being the world’s best teenager, a winner of the 1990 Wimbledon and 1991 US Open junior crowns, to perennial elite performer.

His rise to No. 1 in the ATP Doubles Rankings on 21 June 1999, his 54 doubles crowns (including eight men's Grand Slam championships), one singles title (1998 Newport, d. Neville Godwin), the singles bronze medallist at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and the suspected brain tumour that cut short his 2003 season, are all part of his remarkable life and tennis career. They are also the very reason why he keeps competing, because Paes continues to strive to achieve something new in a sport that he loves and considers fun.

"I’m training very differently now than when I was in my 20s," said Paes. "When I was in my 20s, I was spending eight or nine-hour days in repetition, creating muscle memory. But now, I feel like I’ve got the muscle memory. The quality of the practice, rather than the quantity is more important. Getting out there and being more match specific in training is important. I also feel that now my training is all about injury prevention, staying healthy and fresh over a long year."

Having partnered 120 different players since his Davis Cup debut with Zeeshan Ali in March 1990, Paes has time and again showcased his lightning reflexes and hand-eye coordination, his deft touch from the baseline or the net, and his swift movement. "Lee is just a one-of-a-kind type of guy," Mark Knowles told ATPWorldTour.com. "He has a unique ability to empower his partners and make them reach heights that maybe they didn’t believe they could attain."

His longevity — let alone his drive and hunger to train, to practice and to compete — is mind boggling.

So did Paes think back in 1990 that he'd still be globe trotting? "I'd think you’re crazy!

"Coaching one day would be a natural transition for me, but at this moment I’d like to win a couple more Grand Slams before I get there!"