Leander Paes congratulates Tendulkar

Kolkata: India’s tennis ace Leander Paes on Monday congratulated Sachin Tendulkar for his 50th Test century and lauded the legendary batsman for achieving the special milestone.

“It was a phenomenal achievement by him. He is realy God-gifted. I really respect the longevity of his performance,” Paes, the winner of 12 Grand Slams (six doubles and six mixed doubles) said.

Later Paes called on Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee at the Trinamool Bhavan. Mamata requested him to help her ministry set up a tennis academy in the state.

“He is a pride of Bengal. We have given a proposal to him to help us with his valuable inputs to set up a tennis academy,” the Railway Minister said after talking to Paes this evening.

Paes also spoke about his renewed partnership with Mahesh Bhupathi as the duo will hit the courts in the Chennai Open from January 3 to 9 and thereafter in the 2011’s first Grand Slam -- Australian Open.

“For me it is important that we play together for India. It depends on the performance. If we enjoy the partnership, then of course we will have an open chance of playing together. We hope to have a good start together in Australia.”

Paes was also all praise for Somdev Devvarman who won two gold medals at the Guangzhou Asian Games last month.

“His talent lies in his hard work. To go and see him perform is a fantastic one. He performed really well at the Commonwealth Games and at the Asiad. He, of course, has the mettle to carry out the flags of India on his own shoulders.”