By Kalash Khurana Last Updated:
Paes is one of the most successful tennis players in Indian tennis history and has won 18 doubles titles during his career. Out of all the doubles pairs, the formidable pair of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi had taken everybody’s breaths away with their outstanding performance on the field. Moreover, their jodi was dubbed as ‘Indian Express’ and had gained popularity worldwide. However, the two had parted ways as personal differences arose between them. The duo will also be seen in an upcoming web series titled Break Point, which will be released on Zee5. Besides their breathtaking performance as a duo, the web series will also reveal the secret of why Leander and Mahesh had stopped playing together.
Leander Paes is an Olympic baby by birth and has that sportsmanship in the genes. Paes’ parents were renowned athletes themselves, and he used to polish his father’s Olympics medals on Sundays. The doubles specialist has now become a household name with his talent and dedication. Apart from tennis, the Indian player idolises boxing legend Muhammed Ali and Mother Teresa. Well, some people are still unaware that Paes had also acted in the Bollywood movie, Rajdhani Express.
The popular Indian tennis player, Leander Paes was born and brought up in Kolkata in a family of sportspersons. While his father, Vece Paes, was a hockey player, his mother, Jennifer Paes, was a basketball player, who had captained the team in the Asian basketball championship in 1980. His parents had a huge impact on him, and thus, following the family's culture of sportsmanship, Paes had also joined the bandwagon.
At the early age of 5, Leander Paes had started playing tennis with full enthusiasm. He had begun playing tennis at the age of 12, and had got his early training in tennis at the Britannia Amritraj Tennis Academy in Chennai. Later, in the year 1990, when he was just 17, Leander had won the Wimbledon junior title and had become the world No. 1 at the junior circuit. Moreover, when he was 22, he had won the singles bronze at the Atlanta Games in 1996.
The Indian tennis superstar, Leander Paes, began his career as a singles player and has become the most successful male tennis player in India. Besides winning multiple Grand Slam titles, he had won an Olympic medal, and that made him a household name in the 1990s.
Paes has made 97 appearances at the Grand Slam tournaments and hopes to complete a century. He had been honoured with India’s highest sports honours including Arjuna Award in 1990, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1996, Padma Shri award in 2001 and Padma Bhushan in 2014, for his immense contribution to the Indian tennis and winning accolades, worldwide. Moreover, he is the only tennis player, who had participated in seven Olympic Games from 1992 to 2016. He was also provided with the honour to hold the Tricolour for the 2000 Sydney Olympics opening ceremony.
He is one of the Board of Directors of Olympic Gold Quest, co-founded by Geet Sethi and Prakash Padukone. They all work together to support the budding talented Indian athletes to win medals at the Olympics.
Leander Paes has gained a lot of recognition for his contribution to Indian tennis. He has become an idol for countless aspiring athletes, who wish to win Olympics for the country. However, the player's love life was no less than a rollercoaster ride. Despite having fame and money, Paes had faced ups and downs in his love life. From Mahima Chaudhary to Kim Sharma, here's the list of the women in Leander's life.
During his peak years of success, Leander Paes had started dating the Bollywood actress, Mahima Choudhary. The two had met at a party and had fallen for each other. Mahima would spend most of her time with her boyfriend and would also accompany him on his foreign trips. Everything was going hunky-dory between the two for almost three years.
However, in 2003, one day, Mahima had caught Leander red-handed as he was cheating on her. Therefore, the romance between Paes and his ex-girlfriend, Mahima Chaudhary couldn’t last long. Mahima had accused Leander of cheating on her and had said that the distance in their relationship was because of Rhea Pillai.
Rhea Pillai was the ex-wife of Sanjay Dutt, who had cheated on her husband and had started dating Leander Paes in 2003. Though the two were in a live-in relationship, rumours had it that Paes had got married to Rhea between 2005 and 2008. Some anonymous sources had said that the ceremony had taken place in Colaba, but there is no strong evidence to confirm the same. Leander Paes and his rumoured wife, Pillai, had embraced parenthood with the arrival of their daughter, Aiyana. However, in June 2014, Rhea had filed a case against Paes and his father, alleging domestic violence and had demanded the custody of their daughter.
It was 2016, and once again, India's tennis ace Leander Paes had garnered limelight for his dating rumours. As per the reports, Leander Paes had been allegedly dating a junior tennis player, Tanvi Shah. Moreover, Tanvi and Leander had cared about one another, but neither had come out in the open about the same.
Well, Leander Paes is currently in a relationship with Kim Sharma. The rumours had started in August 2021, when the two were spotted together in a restaurant bar in Goa. Moreover, Leander and Kim had hung out at the Pousada By The Beach and had shared photos where they were seen enjoying a traditional meal.
Kim Michelle Sharma is an Indian actress and model, who made her acting debut in the film, Mohabbatein in 2000. Previously, she was married to Ali Punjani, who is a renowned business mogul. They had tied the knot on August 23, 2010, but had soon drifted apart. Moreover, Kim had allegedly dated the Indian cricketer, Yuvraj Singh for a while, but eventually, they had parted ways. Besides Yuvraj, Kim Had also dated Bollywood actor, Harshvardhan and had garnered limelight because of her PDA with him.
Though Leander Paes had never confirmed his marriage rumours, Rhea Pillai had claimed that they had got married in 2005. Despite having a stormy relationship, the duo has a daughter together. Leander Paes’ rumoured wife, Rhea Pillai, is an Indian model, born in London, United Kingdom. Rhea is the only daughter of Raymond Pillai and Dhurreshwar Dhanrajgir. Earlier, Rhea Pillai had married the Indian actor, Sanjay Dutt in 1998. However, they had separated in the year 2002, after which she had started dating Leander Paes.
We hope that Paes will continue competing in International tennis and also make record-extending scores.