Eyeing not just the medal but also a preferred team-mate leaves Paes on the verge of a strike out from the Rio Olympics

After being ranked world's number 10 in double's by ATP on June 06, 2015, Rohan Bopanna got a clean chit for the upcoming Rio Olympics. Along with a pleasing veto into the Games, Rohan demands to exercise his rights for playing with a partner of his own preference. He would rather play with Saketh Myneni than beat around the bush with Olympic bronze-medalist Leander Paes.

This leaves Paes, who, if given a chance will represent India for the 7th time in a row, with minimum probable chances and hopes stuck on the All India Tennis Association's verdict on the matter. The selection committee has a lot to keep in mind considering the fact that only one men's doubles team can be fielded for the Games due to lack of higher ranked players and the absence of wildcards.

Having won his 18th grand slam title and with it a long due mixed doubles career grand slam a few months back, Paes now finds it difficult teaming up with either Rohan Bopanna or Saniya Mirza for the 2016 Rio de Jenario Olympics, due to known problems of mistrust. Being given a long rope to do whatever he wants with the Davis Cup and Olympics partners by the AITA president Anil Khanna, it leaves no player very keen on partnering with him to represent India. 

Facing the alikes of  2012 Olympic selection conundrum where Indian Tennis suffered a lot of bad business by pairing up Bopanna with Bhupathi and Paes with an amateur Vishnu Vardhan, the AITA will disclose the Olympic squad's credentials today.  

"Rohan and I are the best possible combination. We are playing at a very high level. My career speaks for itself and Rohan has also been doing well in the last 18 months. We both are ready and without a shadow of doubt, me and Rohan are the best team," Paes quoted. 

With Bopanna being yoked to Saniya Mirza for the mixed doubles, Paes is left to play a hefty hand of luck until the perfect team is chosen by the AITA. 

 

Beeba M Singh