Leander was born in Calcutta, India, on 17 June 1973 to a Goan father. Vece Paes and Jennifer Paes were his parents and he was raised in Kolkata(Calcutta). He was educated at La Martiniere Calcutta, and the St. Xavier's College of the University of Calcutta. His parents were both sports persons. Vece was a midfielder in the bronze medal-winning Indian field hockey team at the 1972 Munich Olympics. His mother captained the Indian basketball team in the 1980 Asian basketball championship. Paes enrolled with the Britannia Amritraj Tennis Academy in Madras (Chennai) in 1985, where he was coached by Dave O'Meara. The academy played a key role in his early development. Leander earned international fame when he won the 1990 Wimbledon Junior title and rose to no. 1 in the junior world rankings.
Paes is a direct descendant of the great 19th century Bengali poet Michael Madhusudan Dutta through his mother. Previously having dated Bollywood actress Mahima Chaudhary, he was also in a live-in relationship with Rhea Pillai, with whom he has a daughter.
In 2010, he joined the Board of Directors of Olympic Gold Quest, a foundation co-founded by Geet Sethi and Prakash Padukone to support talented athletes from India in winning Olympic medals.
In 2013, there were reports that Leander Paes and Rhea were headed for a divorce. Neither of them officially spoke about this to the media. Then came the reports that they aren't married but are in a live-in relationship. Reports in 2014 were that the problem continued, and that Paes had lodged a complaint about his wife concerning their daughter's health. Commissioner Rakesh Maria has taken up the matter, which is to be resolved in 15 days.
Paes first won titles at the Junior US Open and the Junior Wimbledon and he turned professional in 1991. He rose to the number 1 in the world junior rankings. In 1992, he reached the quarter finals of the doubles event in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics with Ramesh Krishnan.
He went one better at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, where he beat Fernando Meligeni to win the bronze medal, thus becoming the first Indian to win an individual medal since KD Jadhav won bronze at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics more than four decades earlier. Paes cited the match as one of his greatest performances on the court, in part because his wrist was severely injured. He was awarded the highest sporting honour by the government of India, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 1996. His first successful year in the ATP circuit came in 1993, when he partnered Sebastien Lareau to reach the US Open doubles semifinal. After having a moderate season in 1994, he reached the quarter-finals of the 1995 Australian Open doubles with Kevin Ullyett. From 1996, he partnered with fellow-Indian Mahesh Bhupathi, which would prove to be a winning combination. Their first year was not a very successful one, especially in the Grand Slams, with a round of 32 finish at Wimbledon being the best. 1997 proved to be a much better year for the team of Paes and Bhupathi, with the semifinals of the US Open their best Grand Slam result. Paes climbed the doubles ranking from no. 89 at the beginning of the year to no. 14 at the end of the year.
The doubles team of Paes and Bhupathi grew stronger in 1998, reaching the semifinals of three Grand Slams, the Australian Open, the French Open, and the US Open. In the same year, Paes had two of his biggest singles results in the ATP tour. The first one came by winning an ATP singles title at Newport, and the second was beating Pete Sampras, 6–3, 6–4, at the New Haven ATP tournament in their only meeting throughout the career. In 1999, the duo reached the finals of all four Grand Slams, winning Wimbledon and the French Open, thus becoming the first Indian pair to win a doubles event at a Grand Slam. Paes also teamed up with Lisa Raymond to win the mixed doubles event at Wimbledon. The year also marked his ascent to the no. 1 ranking in doubles. The following year, Paes partnered with Sebastien Lareau for the Australian Open and Jan Siemerink for the French Open, losing in the first round on both occasions. Paes teamed up again with Bhupathi for the US Open, but lost in the first round again. The duo had a disappointing second round exit to Australian duo of Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde at the Sydney Olympics, despite high hopes. Paes was given the honour of carrying the Indian Flag at the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics. In spite of a winning the French Open in 2001, the team of Bhupathi and Paes had first-round exits in the other three Grand Slams. Paes was awarded the Padmashri by the Government of India in 2001. The duo of Paes and Bhupathi won the gold medal at the 2002 Asian Games in Busan. In 2002, Leander paired up with Michael Hill for a number of tournaments, with moderate success.
Between 2003 and the present, Paes has increasingly focused on his doubles and mixed doubles game. Leander won the mixed doubles events at the Australian Open and Wimbledon with Martina Navratilova, both in 2003. Weeks after the win at Wimbledon, Paes was admitted to the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Orlando for a suspected brain tumour that was later found to be neurocysticercosis, a parasitic brain infection. While being treated, he had to miss the US Open, but he recovered by the end of that year. In the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, he paired up with Bhupathi, failing again at the semifinals stage. His next Grand Slam success was in the US Open doubles event in 2006 with Martin Damm. Paes led the Indian tennis team at the Doha Asian Games in 2006 and won two golds in the men's doubles (partnering Bhupathi) and mixed doubles (partnering Sania Mirza). Paes maintained his doubles ranking in the top 20 in the world between 2005 and 2007. With wins in the Rotterdam and Indian Wells, Paes took his doubles tally to 38.
Paes and Bhupathi took part in the men's doubles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. They were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka, who went on to win the men's doubles gold medal. Later in 2008, with Cara Black, he won the 2008 US Open mixed doubles title.
In 2009, he won the French Open and US Open Men's doubles titles with Lukas Dlouhy and was the runner-up in mixed doubles at the US Open.
He began the 2010 season in good form, again winning the Australian Open mixed doubles title with Cara Black. This was the pair's third consecutive Grand Slam final and the fourth overall
Paes and Radek Stepanek's journey at Wimbledon championship 2012 came to an end when the duo lost against Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo.
Paes and Elena Vesnina reached the finals of the mixed doubles at the 2012 Wimbledon Championships after beating Bob Bryan and Liezel Huber, 7–5, 3–6, 6–3 on 7 July 2012. but they lost on the final to Lisa Raymond and Mike Bryan 3–6, 7–5, 4–6.
In the 2012 Summer Olympics, the Indian pair (partner Vishnu Vardhan) lost to French team Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6–7, 6–4, 3–6
Paes and Stepanek advanced to the final of the men's doubles at the 2012 US Open after their Spanish opponents, Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez, retired because of injury. However the duo lost in the final of US Open 2012 to the Bryan brothers.
Paes and Stepanek kicked off the ATP World Tour Finals with a win against Pakistan's Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Dutchman Jean Julien Rojer, 6–4, 7–5. They made it to the semifinals, where they were eliminated by eventual runners-up Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna.
Paes won the 2013 US Open men's doubles with Radek Stepanek defeating Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares 6-1, 6-3. This is Paes' 3rd US Open men's doubles title and 14th Grand Slam title. In January 2014, Government of India announced its 3rd Highest Civilian Award Padma Bhushan for Paes.
Paes won the 2014 Malaysian Open men’s doubles with Marcin Matkowski.
Paes started his 25th season on the ATP World Tour by partnering Klaasen to the Chennai final, where the team lost to Lu/Marray. On 17 January, he won his 55th tour-level title in his 93rd final at Auckland, again with Klaasen. The team recorded three match tie break victories en route to the final. With the win, Paes has won at least one trophy every season since 1997.
On 1 February, Paes captured his seventh Grand Slam mixed doubles crown at the 2015 Australian Open with Martina Hingis. It was his 15th major crown overall and his third mixed doubles triumph at Melbourne Park. The pair beat defending champions Daniel Nestor and Kristina Mladenovic in the final. As No. 7 seed with Klaasen in men’s doubles, Paes lost to eventual champions Bolelli/Fognini in the second round.
At the 2015 French Open, Paes started a new partnership with Daniel Nestor. The pair crashed out in the third round; however Paes became just the seventh male player in Open Era to complete 700 match wins in Doubles.
At Wimbledon 2015, Paes teamed up with Martina Hingis to win the mixed doubles championship. The final with a 6-1, 6-1 score against fifth seeds Alexander Peya and Timea Babos lasted only 41 minutes. In men's doubles, Paes and Nestor reached the third round. By winning his 4th Wimbledon mixed doubles title, Paes now shares the record for most such titles won in the gentlemen's section in the open era with Owen Davidson.
On September 12, 2015, Paes won the mixed doubles at the 2015 US Open partnering Martina Hingis, defeating Sam Querrey and Bethanie Mattek-Sands in three sets.
Leander Paes started his Davis Cup career in 1990 at the young age of 16, when he partnered Zeeshan Ali in doubles to beat the Japanese team in a gruelling five-set encounter. He is considered one of the top Davis cup players for his country, with a record of 89–32 overall, as of July 2015. He played an important role in the Indian Davis cup team that reached the World Group from 1991–1998. He was part of the Indian Davis Cup team that reached the semifinals of the 1993 Davis Cup with wins against Switzerland and France, eventually losing to Australia. In singles, his major wins came against French duo of Arnaud Boetsch and Henri Leconte in Frejus, France in 1993, Wayne Ferreira in 1994, and Goran Ivanisevic in 1995 when India defeated Croatia, Jan Siemerink in 1995 to defeat Netherlands, and Jiri Novak in 1997. He teamed up with Bhupathi to beat Hirszon and Ivanisevic of Croatia in 1995, Martin Damm and Petr Korda of the Czech Republic in 1997, Nicolas Massu and Marcelo Rios of Chile in 1997, Broad and Tim Henman in 1998, and Simon Aspelin and Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden in 2005. In 2007, Leander has three wins (two doubles and one singles) and no losses in the Davis Cup.
In 1993, ranked No. 197 he lost to No. 238 Fernon Wibierin the first round of qualifying at Wimbledon. Three weeks later he beat No. 25 Arnaud Boetsch on clay (not his best surface) in straight sets in the Davis Cup. He also defeated Henri Leconte in that same week and even though Ramesh Krishnan closed the tie out by beating Rodolphe Gilbert in a thrilling five-setter, the architect of that victory was Paes. Even as his career as a singles player on the ATP circuit floundered, Paes would always find a way to do the trick for India in Davis Cup.
In 1994, ranked No 143, he lost in the first round of a Challenger to No 208 Louis Gloria. Four weeks later, he conjured up a miracle of sorts to destroy World No. 13 Wayne Ferreira in straight sets in the Davis Cup.
In 1995, ranked No 130, he managed to beat Croatia's World No 7 Goran Ivanisevic (1992 and 1994 Wimbledon singles finalist) in a controversial five-setter on grass. Jan Siemerink, in 1996, then ranked No. 20, also fell to Paes' Davis Cup inspired play. As did Czech Jiri Novak.
Paes appeared with Bhupathi in six season finales.
In 2011, they appeared, for the first time since 2002, after securing qualification in mid-October. They were eliminated in the semifinals.
Paes played at the year-end championships with Bhupathi from 1997–2000 and in 2002, reaching three finals. In 1997, they lost the final to Rick Leach and Jonathan Stark. They lost the 1999 final to Sebastien Lareau and Alex O'Brien. In 2000, they lost the final to Donald Johnson and Pieter Norval.
Leander has been described as having a strange playing style by Andre Agassi. He varies his play as the match goes on; he is one of the best volleyers and a talented dropshotter. His volleying techniques were learnt from former Indian player Akhtar Ali.
Leander made his film debut in Ashok Kohli's Rajdhani Express, a socio-political thriller. He has also been offered his first Hollywood script.Bronze medal final
By winning the 2012 Australian Open title, Paes achieved the career Grand Slam.
Leander Paes is known for changing partnerships and he has had 100 different partners over his career. Paes has also teamed with 23 players in Grandslam Mixed Doubles. He's currently playing with Martina Hingis in Mixed Doubles.These lists only consists of players who played with Leander Paes in ATP(& ITF)-recognized tournaments which include the Olympics, Grand Slams, World Tour Finals, World Tour Masters, World Tour Series, Davis Cup Ties, and ATP Challengers. They do not include the players who played with him in the other unrecognised multi-sport events and leagues such as World TeamTennis. The lists might be incomplete when all the other tournaments are considered. The order of the players in the list is based on their first partnering with Leander Paes. Sania Mirza had also earlier played with Leander Paes in 2006, 2010 in Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.
The duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi were nicknamed the ″Indian Express″. Leander Paes' off-and-on partnership with Bhupathi drew constant media attention in their home country India. In the 2006 Asian Games, a loss to the Chinese Taipei team in the team event led Leander to question Bhupathi's commitment to Team India. He once stated in an interview that although he and Bhupathi are friends, he did not consider pairing with his former teammate. However, for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, they decided to play together for their country, and lost in the quarterfinals to the eventual champions Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka.
In 2011, the "Indian Express" pair won the doubles title at Chennai Open. They reunited to play in a Grand Slam Tournament after nine years and claimed runners-up in the 2011 Australian Open and reached the semifinals in the year-end championships.
The Indian duo has a 303–103 career record together. They have a higher success rate against various top teams. They have a Davis Cup record of longest winning streak in doubles, with 23 straight wins.
Leander Paes was paired with Vishnu Vardhan at the London Olympics 2012, following the refusal of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna to play with him at the Olympics. Paes threatened to withdraw from the Olympics rather than play with Vardhan, whose world ranking was 296, but withdrew the threat a week later. Paes and Vardhan reached the second round of the tournament, losing to eventual silver medalists Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France.
The Duo has the longest doubles streak in Davis Cup History.