Unfazed by the early exit from ATP World Tour Finals, ace Indian tennis player Leander Paes today said he and his doubles partner Lukas Dlouhy had a fantastic year winning two Grand Slam titles and hoped to come back stronger next season.
The world’s fourth ranked doubles pair, who won the French and US Open this year, ended their campaign at the prestigious ATP event with a 6-7 4-6 defeat to Max Mirnyi and Andy Ram.
Paes said they have to be more consistent and vowed to get into the grind and work hard to come back stronger next year.
“I think it’s been a fantastic season. We’re the only team to have won two Grand Slams and we are obviously playing for the big events,” Paes said.
“I think that if you look at a whole year of 52 weeks, there are five big events in the year.
“You have the Grand Slams, you have the Masters, and then you look at the next rung of events are the Masters series. So for us having won two Grand Slams this year, it’s a real feather in our cap. It’s something we’ve worked very hard for.
“Now in the new year, 2010, we are going to be playing together the whole year.
“Basically, we need to work hard to be more consistent away from the Grand Slams. It would be nice to be sitting here next year with two Grand Slams under our belt, but be more consistent also in the other tournaments,” he added.
The 35-year-old Paes believes he and his partner still need to learn a lot and find out ways to get the best results even when the chips are down.
“I think there’s a lot for us to learn. Our strengths are when we play really well, it’s tough to beat us,” said Paes, who along with his Czech partner have qualified for the Tour Finals for the last two seasons.
“But I think when we play a little off that, a little less than that, that’s something that we have to learn a lot more; how to play the percentage, how to make the other teams fight even when we’re not playing great tennis,” he added.
The 10-time Grand Slam winner said the start of the season next year will be very important and they would have to get back to the court after a short break to fine-tune their game.
“We’ve planned to play our first quarter completely. The schedule is not that much different than this year. There are a few weeks that are juggled around, but pretty much the same,” he said.
“The beginning of the year is important for us to get off to a good start. So basically I would like to play a few more tournaments next year.
“This year I had a long break after the US Open. I got better with my injury, but basically it was not so good for the tennis. So I’ll definitely play a few more tournaments next year.”