Kolkata: Even after being excluded from India's Davis Cup team, veteran India tennis player Leander Paes on Thursday stood his ground saying he is far from finished and people should not be surprised if they see him on the podium next year.
"I will have a new mixed doubles partner and don't be surprised if you see me at the podium in 2018," Paes said at the launch of Senco Gold's new platinum collection here.
Currently ranked 62nd in men's doubles, Paes further said: "I've three months left to lift my ranking and for me to play with an Indian boy (Purav Raja) is very special, especially at this stage of my career."
"By November-end, I will finish my season and then I will see about next year. I really want to do well to get my ranking back on top," the 44-year-old said.
Recalling old times, he said: "I picked up Mahesh (Bhupathi) when he was a young boy and we became world champions. Then Rohan and I did very well in the Davis Cup (against Serbia) where we came back from two sets down to win a five-setter."
Paes made his Davis Cup debut at the age of 16 in 1990 and holds the record for the most Davis Cup doubles wins with 42 victories.
He was dropped by new non-playing captain Bhupathi for the tie against Uzbekistan earlier this year. India play Canada on Friday for the World Group playoff tie.