Monday, 30th October 2017

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Passion helps achieve success: Paes

On Sunday the 46-year-old Indian was given a rousing farewell with stars from various sports

By PTI in Bangalore
  • Published 17.02.20, 2:09 AM
  • Updated 17.02.20, 2:09 AM
  • a min read
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Leander Paes poses with Ashwini Nachappa during a felicitation after he played his last match on Indian soil, at the Bengaluru Open on Sunday (PTI)

Leander Paes, who played his last ATP event on home soil at the Bengaluru Open, was felicitated by former Olympians and sports persons at the KSLTA Stadium here on Sunday.

Paes, playing his final year of professional tennis, and his Australian partner Ebden had lost to Indian pair of Purav Raja and Ramkumar Ramanathan in the men’s doubles final on Saturday.

On Sunday, just before the singles finals, the 46-year-old Indian was given a rousing farewell with stars from various sports, which included former hockey players Jude Felix, VR Raghunath, Arjun Halappa, former track and field star Ashwini Nachappa and Davis Cupper Prahlad Srinath, joining thousands of fans. Also present on the occasion were former swimmers Reshma and Nisha Millet, former heptathlete Pramila Aiyappa and former long jumper Reeth Abraham.

“All of you taught me how the passion for sport, dedication and hard work helps us to achieve success,” Paes, who was overcome with emotion, said.

Later, Australia’s James Duckworth registered a straight-set win over Benjamin Bonzi of France to lift the singles title.

Duckworth took just 68 minutes to notch up a 6-4, 6-4 win over Benjamin at the KSLTA Courts here.

“I was aware Benjamin had beaten some good players in this tournament. I was kind of prepared for this and luckily I played my best today,” said Duckworth.

Both matched stroke for stroke but it was the Frenchman who had the first jibe, breaking his opponent in the fourth game.

Then the opponents broke each other’s serve for next three games before Duckworth held his serve in the eighth game after saving two break points to level scores at 4-4. A break in the ninth game ensured that Duckworth won the set 6-4.