Despite India being unable to open its medal tally at the ongoing Rio Olympics, ace Indian tennis player Leander Paes believes that the whole contingent has worked really hard for the prestigious quadrennial event.
"The whole Indian contingent has worked really hard this year to prepare for the Olympics. Playing against the best in any discipline at the Olympics, you realise how tuff the competition is," Paes said.
"If you look at the Indian Olympics as a contingent, it has been a difficult outing for us. Since 1996 to now, we had quite a few individuals that came up and won a medal. This year has been much harder for us. The competition has been much difficult," he added.
Talking about his future prospects, the Indian tennis ace said, "For me, I am preparing for the US Open. I have been working hard to get to number 20. I am at 18th at the moment. I love my tennis. I love to play and that's why I go to smaller tournaments and work my ranking up, especially this year as it has been difficult for me personally."
"For me to go out there, enjoy my tennis and earn a living through it is important. So, now that the Olympics are done for me, I am preparing for the US Open," he added.
Paes and Rohan Bopanna crashed out of the men's doubles event in the first round at the Rio 2016 Olympics after losing in straight sets to the Polish pairing of Lukasz Kubot and Marcin Matkowski.
Sania Mirza and Bopanna, who lost the mixed doubles semifinals against American pair of Venus Williams and Rajeev, will next play the loser of the match between Czech Republican pair of Radek Stepanek-Lucie Hradecka and American duo of Jack Sock-Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the bronze medal playoff on 14 August.