Leander Paes wants to win career Slam in mixed doubles

India's ace tennis player Leander Paes not only dreams of winning a doubles gold for India at the London Olympics, he also want to win a career Slam in mixed doubles. In an interview to The Indian Express, Leander said that he was looking forward to Roland Garros for that. “I already have an Olympics singles medal so a doubles medal this year will be great. Also, I have made the ATP World Tour Finals final four-five times, so I would like to win that this year,” he said.

But the tennis ace himself doesn’t have an answer to who would be his doubles partner in London Olympics. “That is a question I don't have an answer to. There is still so much tennis to be played before the Olympics. I would chose to concentrate on strengthening my team and I would worry about things that are under my control. I believe the AITA will take the right decision about this,” he said.

In the meantime, India earned the opportunity to get a promotion to Asia/Oceania Group I of the Fed Cup after qualifying for the play-off tie, following a 2-1 win over Phillipines in the last round-robin tie, on Friday. According to a news report in The Tribune, India ended on top in Pool B and will now fight it out with Pool A winner Hong Kong tomorrow for a place in Group I in next year's competition. India have won all the ties so far but lost a match today when Prerna Bhambri was undone 6-3, 4-6, 2-6 by Anna Clarice Patrimonio. Earlier, Rutuja Bhonsle had won the round one 6-2, 6-3 against Tamitha Nguyen to give India a 1-0 lead. Experienced pair of Sania Mirza and Isha Lakhani then routed Patrimonio and Nguyen 6-0, 6-1 in the deciding third round to ensure India end on top of the table.

Coming to snooker, defending champion Aditya Mehta, along with Kamal Chawla, Brijesh Damani and Shahbaaz Khan entered the semifinals of the 78th National snooker championship, on Friday.  According to The Hindu rport, Mehta, who opened the defence of his title with a massive break of 134, needed no special efforts to subdue Siddharth Parikh 5-0 with breaks of 82 and 55 to set up a clash with former junior champion Shahbaaz Adil Khan who accounted for Andhra's Himanshu Jain 5-3. In the previous round, Khan had authored the tournament's biggest upset when he beat former champion Pankaj Advani.

However it was a bad day for top paddlers of the country as favourite Sharath Kamal, recently-crowned National champions A. Amalraj and Poulomi Ghatak along with National Games champion K. Shamini suffered shock losses on a sensational opening day of the Petroleum inter-unit table tennis tournament at the Thyagraj Sports Complex here on Friday. The defeats of the elite players in the team championship came on a day when the loss of defending champion Indian Oil to Hindustan Petroleum threw open the title-race in the women's section, reports The Hindu.

India also had something to cheer about in squash as the hosts reached the semifinals of SDAT-WSF , Under-21 Squash World Cup on Friday. The crowd filled up the balconies on the three storeys overlooking the lobby, cheering for a quality drop or a kill and even for long rallies. All the four teams stormed into the semifinals after winning their final pool matches on Friday, reports The Hindu.

India, after beating Australia, advanced from Pool A as runners-up behind Egypt while France went through as top dogs of Pool B ahead of second seeds England.

Meanwhile, drubbed by the selectors, former captain Rajpal Singh has taken his axing from the Indian team in his stride and is confident he will be recalled to the national squad after the London Olympic Qualifiers in Delhi later this month. The 27-year-old Chandigarh player is also aiming to use the upcoming World Series Hockey to get the much needed match practise if and when he gets a call-up for the national duty, writes The Tribune.
"I have played only one match in 2012 (in the recently held Test series at home against South Africa). I will get to play between 11 to 14 matches in the World Series Hockey which will help me when I play international hockey again. I am confident I will be recalled (to the national squad)," Rajpal said.