<div class="img-caption-wrap "> <img alt="Sachin Tendulkar retirement: Leander Paes heaps praise on batting maestro" src="https://st2.cricketcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/cricket/image_20131012083911.jpg" title="Sachin Tendulkar retirement: Leander Paes heaps praise on batting maestro" /> <p class="imgcaptionnew" style="width:618px;"> Sachin Tendulkar is set to play his final Test series of his illustrious career © Getty Images</p> </div> <strong>Pune: Oct 24, 2013 </strong><br /> <br /> Veteran Indian tennis player <a href="/tags/Leander-Paes/post" target="_blank">Leander Paes</a> on Thursday heaped praise on retiring cricketer <a href="/tags/Sachin-Tendulkar/post" target="_blank">Sachin Tendulkar </a>for his longevity in the sport and the way he had conducted himself on and off the field all these years.<br /> <br /> "For me, the way he [Tendulkar] conducts himself on a cricket field and off it is just too good. He has had an international career spanning 24 years, and I respect him for that longevity," Paes said after being felicitated by City Corporation Group Chairman Anirudh Deshpande.<br /> <br /> Paes, whose won the men's doubles title at the US Open in August, said the secret of his success even at the age of 40 was his hunger to win.<br /> <br /> "A performer is always hungry to perfect his art. He is not going to be satisfied until he achieves an absolute mastery on what he does. I still strive to serve above 240 kmph. I still strive to hit a perfect top-spin backhand when the ball is above my shoulder. That's one of the toughest shots to hit," said the 1996 Atlanta Olympics men's singles bronze medallist.<br /> <br /> Paes credited his father Vece Paes, his coaches like Nandan Bal (who was present at the event), Rick Leach, masseur Sanjay Singh and fitness trainer Dave Herman for his success.<br /> <br /> "They all have been with me for over 20 years. It's like a family."<br /> <br /> Reigning national hard court champion Mohit Mayur Jayaprakash, who trains under Bal, was felicitated at the hands of Paes on this occasion.<br /> <br /> The tennis ace said he has a lot of confidence in Mohit and said the Chennai lad has a bright future.<br /> <br /> Paes recalled his association with this city from the age of 12.<br /> <br /> "My first memory of Pune is as a 12-year-old when I came here to learn the technique of how to play tennis under the guidance of Nandan Bal. As a player, I always looked up to him, and will continue to do so. I have always had a lot of fun and joy whenever I have come to Pune."