Veteran Paes refuses to be bogged down by age

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New York, Sep 5 (UNI) Still a world beater at the grand old age of 35, newly crowned US Open mixed doubles champion Leander Paes said age was never a factor with him and he lets his racquet do all the talking.

The Indian star paired up with Cara Black of Zimbabwe to tame Britain's Jamie Murray and American Liezel Huber 7-6 (8/6), 6-4, and strike gold in their maiden Grand Slam by capturing the mixed doubles title here last night.

Paes came up with an exhilarating performance during the final, with his quick reflexes at the net belying his age.

''Age was not an issue with me and I will go on as long as I enjoy it,'' Paes told mediapersons at the post match conference.

''It's fairly simple for me. If I wake up 31 days in a row in the morning and I feel like I don't enjoy this game, I'll stop on the 32nd day. That's always been the way for me,'' the ace pro said.

He further said he woke up with a purpose and was happy to get his hand to the title, after missing it twice in the past.

''You know, it was in the back of my mind that I hadn't won this one. I've been in two finals here. I was match point up in one of them with Lisa Raymond many years ago, and today I woke up this morning with a purpose.'' ''I woke up really fired up, and when I came out to practice, I just said to Cara, you know...'' Paes was all praise for Cara and said, ''We would continue playing together.'' ''We actually talked about it before we even started this week, that we're going to play together all of next year. For me, no matter what the result this week would have been, I would stick with Cara and play with her through the year,'' he quipped.

''I think that being our first week, we figured each other's games out. She knows she's got to do everything. I just have to sit and watch,'' Paes said.

On his future goals, the former Davis Cup captain said, ''I've won the Australian twice. I've won Wimbledon twice. Never won the French. I've been in the finals there. That's the only Grand Slam I haven't won yet, and I hope Cara and myself can do that next year.'' UNI XC PY AB BD1728

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