Leander Paes has decided to back out of the Olympics, merely hours after the All Indian Tennis Association (AITA) announced on Thursday that it will send two men’s doubles teams to London.
Earlier, The AITA has decided to send two teams to the London Olympics for men’s doubles event. Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna have their way as they have been picked as a team. Leander Paes has been teamed up with Vishnu Vardhan.
The Tennis Association today admitted the two-team solution may not be fair to Paes, but asked all players to graciously accept the decision.
Earlier, Rohan Bopanna and Mahesh Bhupathi had refused to play with Leander Paes. They had asked the AITA to be paired as a team.
Paes had written to the AITA yesterday that two-team selection was unfair because it meant he would be paired with a junior player. 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.
Leander may reject AITA decision: Vece Paes
Vece Paes, father of Leander Paes, has said that the All Indian Tennis Association’s (AITA) decision to send two men’s doubles teams to the London Olympics has not been conveyed to his son, and that the Indian tennis ace may not even accept it.
Paes had already rejected the two-team formula when it had been mooted by AITA, and his father said the decision to pair him with young Vishnu Vardhan after Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Boppana had refused to partner Paes was “unacceptable”.