Paes credits Stepanek for revival

Leander Paes states that his doubles partner took just 21 days to adapt to his working style and hopes to continue playing with the Czech for the rest of the year.

Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek

The duo won the doubles final in the Australian Open allowing Leander Paes to win a career grand slam in doubles tennis. They were an unseeded pair entering into the tournament and managed to beat the Americans Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 in the final.

Leander Paes had been runner-up in three previous attempts, including one last year, and had split up with long-time partner Mahesh Bhupathi after the two failed to win tournaments in recent years. 

The 39-year-old credited the turnaround in his fortunes to the industriousness of his new doubles partner. 

"I have got to say that I have tremendous respect for the work ethic that Radek, my doubles partner, has and the way he has grasped doubles skills so fast", he told CNBC-TV18. 

"Two weeks before the event, he was ranked at 112 in the world. Today, he sits at 23 in the world as an individual ranking and we sit at number one in the world in our team rankings."

The Indian-Czech pair had previously played together in the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships in 2004 winning the doubles final. But Leander Paes counselled Stepanek to concentrate on his singles journey instead of consolidating a partnership back then. 

"You're better off working on your singles now. Don't make one of the mistakes that I made where I gave up my singles that early to do my doubles," Paes told Stepanek in 2004.

The two have come to an agreement this year to participate in further tournaments. 

"When we spoke last November, we confirmed to play 16 to 17 tournaments this year in 2012.

"The fact that we've already won the Australian Open and we're sitting at No 1 in the world means that we've already guaranteed ourselves an entry into the world championships which is in London in the end of November.

"We've already got direct entry into the grand slams and the tournaments we'd like to play," he said. 



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