New Delhi: New Delhi: Refusing to partner Leander Paes for the London Olympics, Mahesh Bhupathi on Friday said that he wants Rohan Bopanna as his doubles partner at the upcoming games.
Bhupathi, 38, was also shocked at hearing the news that the selection committee of the All India Tennis Association (AITA), in its meeting, has decided to send just one team to the July-August event.
I'm still waiting for an official confirmation; I hear they are only sending one team [to the Olympics]. I hope there's method to the madness. It's a harsh decision, Bhupathi said while talking to CNN-IBN. Rohan [Bopanna] and I have prepared together; we have played a lot of matches, and won a lot of them. To perform at the Olympics you need to have some kind of practice. You just can't go there and hope for a miracle to happen, he added.
The selection committee, comprising Jaidip Mukherjea, SP Misra, Rohit Rajpal, Zeeshan Ali and Sai Jayalakshmi, will pick Indias team for the upcoming quadrennial event later this evening.
When it was suggested to Bhupathi that in case, if the AITA picks only one team " Bhupathi and Paes " for the London Games then what would be his response. It [selecting only one team] is unfair because Bopanna and I have been playing on the tour for the last six months. We have qualified for the Olympics together.
Bhupathi also categorically said that if the AITA sticks to its guns of sending only one team then he will decline to participate in the Games. If it is Leander and me, then both Bopanna and I would decline to play [in the Olympics], Bhupathi added.
Bhupathi, who has recently won the mixed-doubles title at the French Open with Sania Mirza, also accused the AITA of changing the rules of the teams selection, and threatened to appeal to the sports ministry to step in.