AITA’s decision to pair Leander Paes with Mahesh Bhupathi, has opened a can of worms which is not a good for Indian tennis, especially with the London Olympics knocking the door. The decision to pair up these icons, who are at a constant loggerheads for quite sometime now, has seen both the factions washing their dirty linens in public.
Though AITA had the choice of sending two teams, Bhupathi-Bopanna and Leander with Somdev, as Leander had a direct entry and had the liberty to choose a partner while Bhupathi-Bopanna combine made the grade according to the rules, the decision hasn’t gone down well with many and most particularly the players.
In response to AITA’s decision, Bhupathi-Bopanna made a joint statement saying “that the decision will deny two highly accomplished players of the privilege and opportunity to represent the country at the Olympics. This is a sad day for Indian tennis from all perspectives.”
An emotional tennis fan will always say that this is a good decision, but there are some very valid reasons why Lee-Hesh shouldn’t have been paired up for the Olympics. ISN brings before you some of the reasons:
There should be faith, compatibility and combination in doubles:
It is a known fact that the pair of Paes and Bhupathi, which was once the number one pair in the world, does not go hand-in-hand. Both the players have tried to avoid playing with each other and they were not too keen to pair up for the biggest sporting event. Olympics is the greatest event of them all and you don’t want to see the players who have not been in talking terms off late, competing for a medal for our nation. It is a big risk that we are taking and it might come back to haunt us.
Bhupathi-Paes record in Olympics is bad:
Together they have competed four times and they have returned empty-handed on each occasion. When the camaraderie between the two players was good even then they were not able to create an impression in the biggest sporting event of them all, so now when they can’t stand each other, will they be able to do what the nations want from them? It is high time that India should try a new pair because this pair has failed on all the previous four occasions.
India’s mixed doubles team will suffer if Bhupathi refuses to go:
Right now AITA is only focusing on men’s doubles but they should give a thought about winning a medal in mixed double’s category. The French Open winning pair of Bhupathi and Sania Mirza might well be the best chance for the tennis team to win a medal. But all can go in vain if Bhupathi do not agree to pair with Paes. AITA has already made it clear that if Bhupathi does not agree to pair up with Paes, he will be dropped from the team. But that will hurt India dearly in the mixed doubles. India are lucky to have a pair as good as Bhupathi and Sania and they should not waste the opportunity
What if both Bhupathi and Bopanna refuse to pair up with Paes:
Bhupathi has made it clear that he is not ready to be paired up with Paes and the statement has not gone down well with AITA as they have announced that if Bhupathi refuses to team up with Paes, than he will be dropped from the team and Bopanna will be picked in place of him. But what if Bopanna also refuses that, which he has already hinted about, what will AITA do then? Will they pair Paes with Somdev Devvarman or Yuki Bhambri someone who have never represented the country at such an important event.
By Indian Sports News Network