Sports Tennis 11 Jun 2016 Rohan Bopanna lobs f ...

Rohan Bopanna lobs for Andhra Pradesh’s Saketh Myneni at Rio

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DEEPIKA DAS
Published Jun 11, 2016, 1:40 am IST
Updated Jun 11, 2016, 6:41 am IST
According to ATP rules, Bopanna’s 10th spot in the world doubles rankings permits him to select a partner of his choice.
Saketh Myneni is World No. 125
 Saketh Myneni is World No. 125

New Delhi: In a move that may jeopardise Leander Paes’ hopes of a record seventh Olympics, Rohan Bopanna signalled his interest in partnering Saketh Myneni and not the veteran for the Rio Games.

Bopanna, who informed the All India Tennis Association about his decision on Friday morning, has earned India a direct entry into the men’s doubles event at the Olympics by virtue of his top 10 rank but it was learnt here that the Aita is in no mood to accept his choice. Paes, a winner of 18 Grand Slam titles, is eyeing a record seventh Olympics.

 

Aita gears up for Leander Paes tie-breaker
The All India Tennis Association is in no mood to let Rohan Bopanna pick Saketh Myneni as his doubles partner instead of Leander Paes for the Rio Olympics Games.

A top Aita official told this newspaper: “In the morning Bopanna conveyed that he wants to partner Myneni but the final call will be of the five-member selection committee and they will announce their decision on Saturday. Leander Peas is a legend and he is in great form as well.

“He is coming after winning a Grand Slam. He must go to Rio. They must have some misunderstandings but that will be rectified in coming days. Once they will be chosen as a team they will forget about the tiff and focus on the Olympics,” he added.

 

Paes, who just won the French Open mixed doubles with Martina Hingis and is ranked 46th, maintained that he and Bopanna were India's best bet for an Olympic medal.

The next best players in the doubles for India are Purav Raja (103) Divij Sharan (114), Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (134) and Mahesh Bhupathi (164) apart from Myneni (125).

According to ATP rules, Bopanna’s 10th spot in the world doubles rankings permits him to select a partner of his choice. “I look forward to representing India at my second Olympics and consider it a privilege, responsibility and honour.  A Direct Acceptance provides me the right to nominate my men’s doubles partner, an opportunity for me to exercise my judgement as to the best possible partner for me.

 

“I am looking forward to the support and good wishes of all concerned in the lead-up to the Olympics,” Bopanna said in statement. According to the ITF the doubles team has to be nominated by the national association and unless the Aita approves Myneni and Bopanna as a team, they cannot play.

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