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From tennis court to tinsel town

Raakesh Natraj


Paes pointed out that his foray into movies was an extension of his

on-court persona


Photo : M. Vedhan

Getting closer:Leander Paes with students of MCC Higher Secondary School in Chennai on Friday —

CHENNAI: Leander Paes' on-court energy will now light up the silver screen as the veteran tennis player makes a crossover to celluloid.

Speaking at a felicitation organised by his alma mater, Madras Christian College Higher Secondary School on Friday, the tennis star announced, “I can't keep playing tennis forever and now I look to entertain you also in the (field of) movies. I have signed on four movies and I am working on one at the moment.” Paes, a winner of multiple grand slams and a bronze medallist at the Atlanta Olympics, pointed out that his foray into movies was just an extension of his on-court persona. “I have entertained you with tennis for the last 20 years and it has been my vehicle to make friendships and entertain people. Even the style of tennis that I play includes the crowd. It was a natural transition and has been knocking at my door for 16 years and I kept saying no because there was a time and place for it,” he said.

Paes also interacted with students and teachers of the school, as each recounted peccadillo elicited huge cheers from the audience.

“Wherever I go out to play, it is not just for India or my family but also for you, the MCC boys. Dream large and if you believe in your dreams and work real hard they will come true," he said. G.J. Manohar, Principal and Secretary of M.C.C. H.S.S., urged the students to emulate Paes' ‘energy and determination'. Also present at the function was Paes' father, Vece Paes, the former hockey international.

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