Leander Paes will give the French Open a miss this year. The season's second Grand Slam will start in Paris on May 25. In the middle of a bitter custody war with partner Rhea Pillai over daughter Aiyana, Paes has been off tennis for almost seven weeks.
According to a report in the Times of India, Paes has flown to the US to work on his fitness. The report quotes his hockey Olympian father, Dr Vece Paes, who has confirmed that Leander will spend three weeks in Florida to be fit for the grasscourt season starting June. Grass has been Leander's favourite surface ever since he won the junior Wimbledon title in 1990.
Doubles specialist Leander, who has won 14 Grand Slam titles, has never the red clay at Ronald Garros ever since making his French Open debut in 1997. Three of his eight men's Grand Slam doubles titles have come on clay, twice winning with Mahesh Bhupathi (1999 and 2001) and once with Czech partner Lukas Dlouhy (2009).