My Masters 1000: Leander Paes
Leander Paes has won 54 tour-level doubles titles, including 13 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns, during his historic career. But the 44-year-old Indian still has one more Masters 1000 title to go to complete the Career Golden Masters.
In this latest installment of “My Masters 1000”, Paes talks with ATPWorldTour.com about that missing title, his favourite Masters 1000 event and which ATP World Tour stars he'd face in his dream Masters 1000 doubles match.
Which Masters 100 host city is your favourite and why?
Monte-Carlo, just for the view right on the Mediterranean, the clay courts there cut into the mountains, and when you sit up at the top at the players’ lounge and you look down on the centre court, and the other courts on the left, the whole Mediterranean and the port of Monte-Carlo is down in front of you and it’s really spectacular.
Which Masters 1000 title that you’ve won is your favourite and why?
That’s a tough one… I’ve won Shanghai a few times with three different partners (1998 with Mahesh Bhupathi, 2010 with Jurgen Melzer, 2012 with Radek Stepanek). So that one would probably be my favourite because I’ve just done well there year after year. Miami is also up there. I’ve won Miami three times, with three different partners in a row, so that one is up there as well.
Anything in particular about Shanghai, besides the success?
The way it’s run. The Shanghai tournament, apart from the hotel being a little bit farther away, the guys who run the event just do a fantastic job there. The way they run it, it’s just top quality. The food is excellent, practice courts are plenty and they do a really good job there for us.
What is your favourite off-court memory at a Masters 1000 tournament?
So many… Every one of them have been so special because I’ve just had such a long career, it’s tough to pick out one… I’m just very blessed to be able to have had such a long career, and have so many great memories in this wonderful sport of ours.
What would be your dream match at a Masters 1000 tournament?
I would love to play with either one of the Bryan boys and play against Federer and Johnny McEnroe… Any surface, anywhere.
If you could only win one more Masters 1000 tournament, which would it be and why?
I think Madrid, obviously because I’ve won all the other eight several times. Madrid is the only one that eluded me... that's the only one in my showcase that I need to complete.
Which player/champion do you consider to be the toughest competitor in Masters 1000 history?
Wow, there are some great competitors out there… Rafa Nadal comes to mind when he plays doubles. Federer comes to mind when he plays doubles. The Bryan twins, they are fantastic competitors…My benchmark is someone who, every time you go out to play him, shows up and puts it all in. And these four guys are up there.