| By Steven Kaplan

He is the holder of 14 Grand Slam doubles titles and recently became the oldest Grand Slam winner at the age of 40. Pete Sampras had a losing record against him in singles too. He has old school volleys in the age of power with great precision, a deft feel, uncanny anticipation and incredibly quick hands.

Nevertheless, when I referred to Leander Paes while working on volleys with three highly-ranked older boys the other day, they said, almost in unison, "That's so random."

"He's the current U.S. Open Doubles Champion and one of the best net players of all time," I replied.

"No ... it's still random," one of them said while the others laughed. 

Doubles is the "Rodney Dangerfield" of tennis ... it  "gets no respect, no respect at all."

Hmm ... I'm curious to see what they think of that reference?

Steven Kaplan

Steve Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation, and executive director and founder of Serve &Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally- ranked junior players, 16 New York State high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.