Now it’s Leander’s turn to do the arm twisting, AITA sends selector Rohit Rajpal to pacify the veteran

The blackmail game does not seem to stop yet, as after AITA decided to send two teams, including Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna in one and pairing Leander Paes with Vishnu Vardhan, it’s Leander’s turn to do the arm twisting as the veteran player has threatened to pull out of the London Olympics if paired with a junior player.

According to a report in the Indian Express, faced with a pullout threat from Leander Paes, the All India Tennis Association has sent one of its selectors to London to pacify the veteran who is miffed at not getting a partner of choice for the men's doubles event of the London Olympics. Unable to please all, AITA is trying hard to ensure that a miffed Paes does not withdraw from the Games. "Senior AITA selector Rohit Rajpal is being flown to London to speak to Paes and convince him over the two team formula," an AITA source said.

While the AITA is hoping things will finally settle down now, Khanna admitted Paes was yet to communicate his official acceptance for this combination.

“He is very hurt and emotionally disturbed right now. He is a big man, he will take his time and we can only request him to accept our decision,” he said. Paes, though, insisted he is yet to take a final call. “I am yet to decide, I am still sorting things out,” he told The Indian Express.

On his part, Khanna is trying to pacify Paes by agreeing that sending Bopanna-Bhupathi as a team was “not fair” and not the best one on tennis grounds. He insisted they had taken the decision to not ban the two players from going to the Olympics in the “interest of the nation” but could take action for their non-cooperation after the Games.

Meanwhile according to a news in The Times Of India, a 16-member Indian wrestling team, including five who have qualified for the Olympics, will train in the United States to prepare for next month’s London Games. The team, which includes Olympic bronze medalist Sushil Kumar, will leave for Colorodo Springs on Friday. The team will return on July 15 and subsequently depart for Minsk (Belarus) on July 20. From there, the team will reach London on August 5 to compete in the Olympics.

Meanwhile Shiv Kapur, desperately in need of a good finish to get his confidence and form back, worked his way to a sizzling six-under 66 on the opening day of the BMW International Open golf tournament, in Cologne on Thursday. The 30-year-old Kapur sank eight birdies against two bogeys for his 66 that gave him a tied third place in the morning session.

In the meantime, Chiragh Kumar started on a bright note with a round of one-under 71 to be placed tied 31st at the inaugural Volvik Hildesheim Open, in Jecheon, Korea. The other Indian in the field, Himmat Rai, carded 73 and was placed tied 82nd . He needs to shoot a low number in the second round to keep a berth for the weekend. (IANS)