Wimbledon, July 13 (IANS) Indian tennis legend Leander Paes says despite winning the Wimbledon mixed doubles title at the ripe age of 42, he continues to be a keen student of the game and has learnt a lot playing alongside his mixed doubles partner Martina Hingis.
Seeded seventh, Paes and Hingis joined hands to thrash the Austrian-Hungarian fifth seeded pair of Alexander Peya and Timea Babos 6-1, 6-1 in only 40 minutes in the final at the Centre Court here on Sunday. It was Paes’s 16th Major trophy.
“In tennis, Martina Navratilova and Martina Hingis are right at the top. Hingis probably has the best groundstrokes or return of serves I have ever seen. I still learn from her,” Paes was quoted as saying by guardian.co.uk on Sunday.
“They’re both the two greatest female athletes on the planet that we have had in any sport,” he said.
Swiss Hingis, 34, earlier won the women’s doubles title partnering India’s Sania Mirza on Saturday. In total, Hingis has 20 Major titles.
Hailing Hingis, Paes said: “Everyone knows what Martina has achieved over the years at Wimbledon. To come out there and do it back to back, the physical and mental effort that it takes to win two titles in the same week, is something really, really special.”
The 42-year-old said the mixed doubles trophy he won here was for India.
“This trophy is for India. To represent the flag and my country is something I take very seriously,” Paes was quoted as saying by television channel NDTV.
“You don’t have to be the best at anything but if you work really hard, anyone can win this trophy,” he said.
Speaking on his on-field chemistry with Hingis, he said: “I feel really special being on the court with Martina; she had an emotionally and physically-draining women’s doubles final with Sania.”
“She had a tough 24 hours and still came back and took the time to discuss our match. She tried to go to bed early and then came out early for warm-ups. That for me is thoroughly professional,” Paes said.