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Paes and Knowles Together: Imagine the Possibilities

March 1, 2012

It really hasn’t been that bad a start to the year for doubles legends Leander Paes and Mark Knowles: Paes won Chennai with Janko Tipsarevic and the big one, the Australian Open, with Radek Stepanek. Knowles captured the San Jose tournament with sometimes-partner Xavier Malisse, who he’s playing with in Delray Beach this week.

In other words, the doubles standouts are winning titles, so everything’s right in their world.

But here’s an idea: Why don’t Knowles and Paes team up for 2012? Here’s why I’m suggesting that.

You see, despite their success so far, the guys they’re teaming up with most of the time are singles players. The doubles isn’t much of a priority–at least not to guys who make their living at it, like Knoweles and Paes.

Another thing is that the way doubles is on the ATP Tour, when two “greats” team up, success will be had: Look at the partnership of Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor (Knowles former teammate). Or past teams of Mahesh Bhupathi and Mirnyi. Or Nenad Zimonjic and Nestor. Or … I could go on and on with that!

Sure, neither Paes or Knowles are exactly known for bringing the heat, which seems to be a prime requirement among teams today. But few players over the past 20 years have their court sense, savvy and hands: Put those two together and I’d like their chances against all but maybe four teams out there.

I know Paes has been vocal about the Olympics, but that’s just not going to happen with Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna playing together. So why not worry about regular tour dominance?

As I mentioned, it’s hard to argue against the results they’ve had so far this year, but I think if you put Paes and Knowles together the rewards would be even greater.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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