AITA on Saturday turned down Bopanna’s request and give veteran Leander Paes nod to appear for his record 7th Olympics. AITA paired him with Rohan Bopanna for the men’s double competition despite the latter’s desire to team up with Saketh Myneni.
While announcing the squad for Olympics, beginning 5th August, AITA chief Anil Khanna said Bopanna will be pairing up with Sania Mirza as demanded by the world No. 1 in women’s doubles. Along with this she will also be teaming up with Prarthana Thombare in the women’s doubles event at Rio.
As expected, AITA turned down Bopanna’s request for Myneni as his partner, saying India’s best chance for medals lay in him teaming up with Paes, who won the French Open mixed doubles title earlier this month with Martina Hingis.
“He (Bopanna) has given reasons to selection committee on why he feels Saketh could be a better doubles partner. But he has also made it clear that he wants to represent the nation. It was a well-meaning letter (that Bopanna wrote to AITA). Leander and Bopanna have played four times in Davis Cup and they have 2-2 record”- Anil Khanna
“Committee decided that the best bet for Indian tennis to win a medal at the Olympics would be Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna,” he added.
He goes on to add that the Country’s best hope for medal in mixed doubles category is Bopanna and Sania.
On the whole by giving a chance to Paes, AITA proves that no one is bigger than the Country. Country always comes first and if medal hopes lies with Bopanna teaming up with Paes then they will do what’s best for the country and for a billion netizens. Hats off Sir…