Injury puts Paes out of Big W

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By AMITAVA DAS GUPTA in Calcutta
  • Published 5.06.05
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Calcutta: The curse of the injury has hit Leander Paes yet again. And, like in the previous case, it will cost him a Grand Slam appearance.

The Indian ace, playing the mixed doubles final with the legendary Martina Navratilova at Roland Garros on Friday, was serving for the first set when he fell on his right shoulder while diving for a return. Paes and Navratilova captured that set but lost the next two to Fabrice Santoro and Daniela Hantuchova as the Indian decided to continue after getting courtside medical attention.

The injury turned out to be more serious than Paes had initially thought and he will now be out of action for three to five weeks. That rules him out of the biggest event of them all ? the Wimbledon Championships, which get underway on June 20.

Similar misfortune had struck Paes ? who on Friday was gunning for his third mixed doubles crown with Navratilova ? five months ago.

He twisted his ankle in a men’s doubles match at the ATP Sydney meet in January and, consequently, was ruled out of the Australian Open.

According to Dr Vece Paes, who spoke to the French specialist his son visited in Paris on Saturday, all tests, including an MRI, have been done.

“The earliest he can recover is in three weeks, so Wimbledon is pretty much out of the picture,” Dr Paes told The Telegraph.

“What made it worse was the fact that he played for an hour after getting hurt? he was trying to help Martina get closer to the Grand Slam record,” Dr Paes explained.

The 48-year-old Navratilova, who owns 58 Grand Slam titles (18 singles, 31 doubles and 9 mixed), is four short of Australian Margaret Court’s all-time high of 62.