Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Leander Paes threatens to quit
NEW DELHI -- Leading doubles player Leander Paes threatened to quit India's Olympic team if he's paired with a lower-ranked player and Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna play together in London.
Paes wrote to the All India Tennis Association on Wednesday while the national body tried to work out a compromise after Bhupathi and Bopanna refused to partner with Paes at the Olympics, according to the NDTV news channel, which also posted the letter on its website.
Bhupathi and Bopanna say they should be a pair as they have been a team on the ATP Tour this year, while AITA said Paes should have first choice because he's ranked higher.
India could have entered two teams but picked only Paes and Bhupathi because AITA believes they had the best chance of winning a medal.
Paes wrote he was comfortable playing with a lower-ranked player if that was the only men's doubles pair representing India. But he added he should choose a partner if Bhupathi and Bopanna were available for selection.
Paes, who has played in five Olympics and was a singles bronze medalist at Atlanta in 1996, said he would "have no other option but to withdraw from the Olympics" if the doubles selection was based on the refusal of the two players to partner with him.
"We cannot be condoning or rewarding the drama enacted by Mahesh and Rohan," Paes wrote. "This would be a bad precedent for current and future sports persons [particularly tennis players] in our country."
The deadline for sending in entries is Thursday.