Page last updated at 17:52 GMT, Monday, 31 March 2008 18:52 UK

Indian tennis star turns superhero

Leander Paes

The Indian tennis star Leander Paes is to be portrayed as a superhero in a new series of TV cartoons promoting active lifestyles for children.

Mr Paes will appear as a miracle-man who helps schoolchildren in a 26-part series called The Magic Racquet.

Commenting on the venture, Mr Paes said he wanted to lure children away from TV sets and promote healthy diets.

The tennis star has won many grand slam doubles titles, as well as a single bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics.

Correspondents say a date has not been set for the launch of the cartoon series.

"It pains me when I see kids today spending a lot of time in front of TV sets and on unhealthy diets," Mr Paes said.

"As a father and a national sports figure, I feel it is my duty to impart love for sports and an active lifestyle so the next generation can develop the mindset of champions, both on and off the field."

The star, a multiple grand slam winner in doubles, is India's best known tennis-player and a medal hope at the Beijing Olympics in August.

Mr Paes has played more than 17 years in India's Davis Cup team - beating powerful nations and less reputed ones.

In that competition he has triumphed over players ranked hundreds of numbers ahead of him and lost only a few times to players ranked below him.

In late 2003 he was admitted to hospital with a lesion in his brain. At the time, he was unaware for a while if he would live, let alone play again.

But in early 2004, he was back, winning three matches against New Zealand in biting cold.

Leander Paes - setting the standard
23 Apr 06 |  South Asia
Paes 'blacked out at Wimbledon'
08 Oct 03 |  Tennis

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