Leander Paes: Want to make tennis a viable career option for all

Updated: Oct 14, 2019, 07:23 IST | Ronald Chettiar | Mumbai

Speaking on the sidelines of the players' auction, Paes said: "As team owners, it's part of our responsibility to see that the sport in our country grows."

Leander Paes (right) with TPL's co-founder Krunal Thakur
Leander Paes (right) with TPL's co-founder Krunal Thakur

India tennis ace Leander Paes, mentor and co-owner of the Mumbai Leon Army team in the upcoming Tennis Premier League (TPL), yesterday said that his aim is to not only maintain the sustainability of the league but also to grow the health of the sport in India.

TPL Season 2 (December 12 to 15) will be held at Celebration Sports Club, Andheri.

Speaking on the sidelines of the players' auction, Paes said: "As team owners, it's part of our responsibility to see that the sport in our country grows. We want to make sure tennis is a viable career option in India," said the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bronze medallist. "It's one thing to win but to grow the league is crucial too. My role as a mentor of my team and the league is to see that the health of the sport keeps improving," added Paes, 45, who has won eight doubles and 10 mixed doubles Grand Slam titles.

TPL-II will have eight teams and 88 top national players battle it out in a format that has five ties per match for a total of 90 points (10 each for U-14, U-18 and Wheelchair categories. 30 points for men's and women's matches).

Paes picked youngsters Nikki Poonacha and Aryan Goveas for Rs 2.25 lakh and R1.25 lakh respectively at the auction. In the men's category Myneni (Delhi Binny's Brigade), Somdev Devvarman (Gujarat Panthers), Vishnu Vardhan (Bengaluru Hawks), Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (Punjab Bulls) and Purav Raja (Pune Warriors) fetched R2.25 lakh each.

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