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Thursday, April 18, 2024

AITA may send two teams to Olympics

Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna

NEW DELHI: The All Indian Tennis Association (AITA) is likely to send two men’s doubles teams to the London Olympics with Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna as one team and the other team comprising of Leander Paes and Yuki Bhambri. 

Reports on Tuesday said that the development came as both Bhupathi and Bopanna remained defiant on their decision to not to partner Paes at the event. 

Bhupathi and Bopanna stood firm by their decision despite the AITA exerting pressure to get the two to climb down from their stand of playing the 2012 London Olympics ‘together or not at all’. 

On Monday, Bhupathi and Bopanna made it clear once more to AITA that while they were committed to representing India in the London Games, neither was willing to break up his partnership to play alongside Paes. 

The reports of sending two teams to the Olympics came after sports minister Ajay Maken on Monday hinted that he would favour the pairing of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna with Leander Paes teaming up with another player. 

Maken said his ministry has written to AITA to resolve the crisis by sending two teams in the London Olympics. 

AITA found itself cornered with the ministry dashing off a six-point letter to its president Anil Khanna, asking him why his body decided on selecting only one team for the quadrennial event when two teams could have been sent.

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