INDIAN tennis legend Leander Paes, who played his last ATP event on home soil at Bengaluru Open, was felicitated by former Olympians and sports persons at the KSLTA Stadium on Sunday. Paes, who is 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 including former hockey players Jude Felix, VR Raghunath, Arjun Halappa, former track and field athlete Ashwini Nachappa and Davis Cupper Prahlad Srinath joining thousands of people who had gathered. All the athletes regaled the audience with their experiences with Paes, who was overcome with emotion.
“All of you taught me how the passion for sport, dedication and hard work helps us to achieve success,” said Paes while requesting the audience to give a standing ovation to the former athletes. Also present on the ocassion were former swimmers Reshma and Nisha Millet, former heptathlete Pramila Aiyappa and former long jumper Reeth Abraham.