Indian tennis ace Leander Paes, who won the Australian Open mixed doubles Championship yon Sunday, is also trying his hand at acting and has already completed part of a Bollywood film’s shooting.
“Paes is into films now and could take up a career in Bollywood when he decides to hang up his racquet,” Hiranmoy Chatterjee, Secretary of the Bengal Tennis Association (BTA) and considered close to the tennis player, told PTI on Monday.
Chatterjee said that Paes had already shot part of the film and is expected in Kolkata next month for more shooting.
Paes, who is from the Beckbagan area of the metropolis and learnt his tennis lessons here, grabbed his 11th Grand Slam when partnering, Cara Black of Zimbabwe, he defeated Russia’s Ekatarina Makarova and Czechoslovakia’s Jaroslav Levinsky 7-5, 6-3 in the mixed doubles final at Melbourne.
“Leander has been offered the hero’s role in the movie,” Chatterjee said, but refused to divulge details about the film.
“As for other details, it is for Paes or the director of the film to make public,” he said.
When contacted, Leander’s father Vece Paes, a former India hockey centre—half, said “it is upto Lee to decide whether he will continue in films.”
BTA’s Chief Executive Officer Sujoy Ghosh also confirmed that Paes was into films now.
Begining 1999, Paes has so far won six Grand Slam men’s doubles titles (thrice with Mahesh Bhupati) and five mixed doubles titles with different partners including the legendary Martina Navratilova (twice).
Paes, who has represented the country in the Davis Cup, also won a bronze medal at the Atlanta Olympics.