Leander Paes says he was hurt due to the partnership row for Olympics – Tennis News
Indian tennis legend, Leander Paes, has stated that he was badly hurt when two of his fellow countrymen, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna, refused to play with him at the Olympics but now he is ready to represent his country at
the mega event.
During a recent interview, Paes said, “Yes I was hurt. Yes, I was very stressed but at the end of the day that is life, isn’t it. It was hard to go through Wimbledon and play day in and out. What you have to do as a professional
athlete is to get away from all the negatives and the politics. I was able to do that well.”
It all started when All India Tennis Association (AITA) announced that Paes and Bhupathi will participate as the only Indian doubles team at the London Olympics.
Bhupathi, who wanted to partner Bopanna at the biggest sports event of the world, straightaway refused to play with his former partner, Paes. He made the point that he had practised with Bopanna throughout the year in order to
play London Olympics with him and now he can’t play with Paes. Bhupathi also said that Paes had ditched him by choosing another partner at the end of 2011, that’s why they had not talked to each other since then.
AITA then turned to Bopanna, requesting him to play with Paes but the youngest of these three also responded negatively. Bhupathi and Bopanna made it clear that they would play together in any case.
Paes, who is the highest ranked Indian player, also threatened that he would boycott Olympics if he was partnered with a junior. However, AITA bowed to the pressure of Bhupathi and Bopanna in the end and made their team, asking
Paes to play with Indian number five, Vishnu Vardhan.
To compensate that, AITA partnered Bhupathi’s regular mixed doubles partner, Sania Mirza, with Paes for the Olympics. This also drew huge criticism from the top Indian women tennis player, who thrashed all parties involved in this
However, Paes kept winning his matches during all this trouble, reaching the final of mixed doubles event at the Wimbledon with his Russian partner, Elena Vesnina.
Paes said, “I was able to block out everything. It was in the news and on the TV everyday but you got to get away from all that and play hard and despite all that, we got to the finals and lost a really tough match 6-4 in the third
set. I know how to play tennis.”
The Indian veteran will be aiming to win India’s maiden Gold Medal in the tennis event of Olympics.R Soft Web Hosting