Bopanna selects Myneni over Leander Paes as Olympic doubles partner

New Delhi: In a move which may end veteran warhorse Leander Paes' Olympic dreams, Rohan Bopanna has selected Saketh Myneni as his preferred partner for the men's doubles tennis event at the Rio Games. Bopanna, who informed the All India Tennis Association (AITA) about his decision on Friday, has earned India a direct entry into the men's doubles event at the Olympics due to his top-10 rank.  "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 a statement. Bopanna's decision means that Paes, a winner of 18 Grand Slam titles, may have to say goodbye to his dream of representing India in a record seven Olympics. According to ATP rules, Bopanna's 10th spot in the world doubles rankings permits him to select the partner of his choice. But even if he was ranked 11th on the cut-off date, Bopanna and Paes would have qualified for the Rio Olympics as a team due to their combined rank. However, Paes is not yet out of the reckoning for the Olympics as the AITA is yet to approve Bopanna's decision. "Bopanna has informed the AITA that he prefers Saketh Myneni as his partner for the Rio Olympics," senior official Ranveer Chouhan said. "The AITA will arrive at a decision following a high level meeting on Saturday," he added.