Just before the singles finals of the Bengaluru Open, tennis legend Leander Paes who is on his swan song and played his last ATP event on Indian soil on Saturday, was given a rousing farewell at the KSLTA Stadium with former Olympians and sports internationals felicitating the country’s tennis icon.
There were athletes who began their career at the same time as Paes but had hung their boots while Paes who has had a distinguished career spanning 30 years and decorated with many awards, is playing in his last year.
Joining over 1,000 people were stars from various sports including Jude Felix, Raghunath Vakkliga, Arjun Halappa (all hockey), Reshma and Nisha Millet (Swimming), Pramila Aiyappa, Ashwini Nachappa, Reeth Abraham (athletes) and Davis Cupper Prahlad Srinath.
All the athletes regaled the audience with their experience 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.