Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bhupathi won´t play Olympics with Paes

Bhupathi won´t play Olympics with Paes

Mahesh Bhupathi has made it very clear that he will not go to the London 2012 Olympic games if he is forced to play with Leander Paes.

A row erupted when the All Indian Tennis Association (AITA) announced that Bhupathi would be prevented from competing with his normal partner Rohan Bopanna and will have to play with Paes.

"I have told them I will not partner Leander Paes," Bhupathi told Reuters at the Queen's Club tournament in West London.

"I have told them I am not available if they don't pick me with Rohan.

"We have been hoping all year since we decided to partner together that we were going to represent India at the Olympics.

"The decision taken today did not go in our favor so we are going to try and hope that something changes."

Bhupathi feels they do not have the relationship on court needed to succeed at the Olympics in July and August.

"We (Paes and Bhupathi) haven't practised together," he added.

"We haven't literally spoken with each other since we played last at the Masters in London in November so there is no camaraderie, there is no chemistry.

"So for me to go back to a fifth Olympics and make up the numbers is not going to be exciting at all. They have kind of killed our Olympic dream."

Paes was given direct entry into the Olympic doubles thanks to his top-10 ranking.

Bopanna is ranked 12th and Bhupathi is 14th.

"There is a lot of room for maneuver," Bhupathi said. "The two teams have already qualified. We have qualified on our ranking as a team and Leander being top ten gets the pick of another player so there is a lot of room for maneuver, they just have to wake up and smell the coffee.

"It does not make any sense when logic is not prevailing.

"When you can send four people to the Olympics and the government has given us money for the year to make the Olympics and all of a sudden they are taking two spots away. It is complex and we can't understand it."

Bopanna believes the AITA have underestimated the on-court chemistry between the pair.

"I have been training with Mahesh the last six months," he said. "I even changed partners because of the fact we were going to play at the Olympics. We have the same coach travelling with us and it makes a huge difference having a great camaraderie".

Source Reuters/AP