Leander Paes is an Indian tennis player who is known for holding the record for the most doubles wins in the Davis Cup.His father belonged to Goa, and his mother was from Calcutta. His father was a member of the Indian hockey team in the 1972 Munich Olympics. His mother was the captain of the Indian basketball team in the 1980 Asian basketball championship. In an interview, he said that he always wanted to win Olympics just like his father did. He used to polish his fathers medal every Saturday, which he said were the best moments of his life. He also used to accompany his mother who was the coach of the National Basketball Team to matches, practice sessions and press conferences. In an interview, he talked about learning tennis from his parents and said, They say your parents are your first teachers and nothing truer has been said. My parents were my first gurus who taught me resilience, dedication and mental tenacity. For a small boy, who was taking on a path that wasnt very popularly tread in those times, these initial lessons changed the way I looked at life, both personally and professionally. Because I chose sport as my profession, the expectations and pressures of being my parents son was felt every day. Leander Paes as a youngster with his father.He started his career in 1985 after he took admission to the Britannia Amritraj Tennis Academy in Madras (now Chennai) and received coaching from Dave OMeara. In an interview, he talked about his early years in Kolkata and said, I consider myself extremely lucky to have grown up in a city that was so passionate about sports and valued community living above anything else. In the early years, most of my sports experiences were either at school, or with my parents or at the various clubs that they were part of. But it was in the Maidans of Kolkata that I learnt the meaning of being a sports person in the truest sense of the word. Kolkata provided an amazing environment to nurture a young champion and it taught me the lessons of teamwork and community building. Leander Paes at the Britannia Amritraj Tennis Academy.
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