Paes waiting to spend Diwali with family after two decades!

Tennis ace Leander Paes can't wait to spend festival of lights with his family after two decades

A common complaint among the world's top sportspersons is that their hectic schedules leave them with very little time to spend with their families. Indian tennis ace Leander Paes has won 12 Grand Slams during his illustrious career stretching over two decades, but the 38-year-old claims he has not spent a single Diwali with his folks since the age of 12.

"I'm really looking forward to spending Diwali with my family. The last time we celebrated Diwali together was when I was 12. In my 25-year-long career I haven't spent even one birthday at home, nor have I been there for any other celebrations. I have missed it all because of my work," said Paes, on the sidelines of an event held in Mumbai yesterday.  "I want to be with my five-and-a half-year-old daughter Aiyana.

Daddy's love: Leander Paes with daughter Aiyana during the Chennai
Open in 2009

I want to buy sparklers for her from a shop I have seen in Bandra," added Leander, who earlier this year, got back with long time doubles partner Mahesh Bhupathi. The duo are currently ranked fourth in the ATP doubles rankings.

Paes is confident he can defy age and continue playing for some more time. "Apart from staying motivated to play my sixth Olympics, there are plenty of other things that I need to push myself for. I know that I can win a medal and that's why I am still playing.

"I want to see us becoming the No 1 doubles pair in the world. Also, I haven't won the Australian Open and ATP World Tour Finals which I look forward to winning," added Paes.

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