Congratulating tennis stars Sania Mirza and Leander Paes, former India captain Rahul Dravid today said that both are “huge inspiration” for aspiring sportspersons in the country.
“Both Sania and Leander are huge inspiration for not only tennis aspirants, but also for sportspersons,” Dravid told reporters on the margins of announcement of second edition of Bengaluru Cup being organised by Hockey Karnataka here.
“I think it is phenomenal achievement by Sania and Leander to be able to win the US mixed doubles and women’s doubles titles,” he added.
Sania and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis bagged the women’s doubles title after outplaying the fourth seed team of Casey Dellacqua and Yaroslava Shvedova 6-3 6-3 in the final.
This was Sania’s second consecutive Grand Slam title of the season and fifth overall.
Veteran Paes scripted history by notching up the US Open mixed doubles title with Hingis to become the format’s most successful male player in the Open era.
The fourth-seeded Indo-Swiss pair edged past unseeded Americans Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sam Querrey 6-4 3-6 10-7 in a tricky final to win their third Major title together this season.
Dravid said it is incredible that at age of 42, Paes has been able to achieve the glorious feat three Majors in a calender year.
“It is incredible what Leander has been able to achieve in this age. It is timeless – he keeps going on and on. It is terrific to watch him,” he said.
“Sania also have been good with her performances in the women’s category and by the time she hangs her boots she would have left a legacy behind for youngsters to follow,” Dravid said.
Dravid said it was lovely to watch Sania and Paes, playing the finals on television, as an Indian.
“I watched both the games. It was lovely to watch as an Indian,” he said.