Mulling over the possible options to partner Leander Paes in case Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna stick to their stand of not playing with him, the tennis federation is close to zeroing in on the name of Vishnu Vardhan.
The 328-ranked Vardhan has won two Futures tournaments on the trot, but more importantly he has the big serve that makes Bopanna so attractive for Paes to partner on grass. He is ranked 207 in doubles, seventh among the Indian doubles players.
Of course, this is an option that will only be considered if the federation looks to either drop the Bhupathi-Bopanna combo totally or examines the possibility of two entries to the Olympics.
Word from the sports ministry has it that Ajay Maken had no option but to back off once All India Tennis Association president, Anil Khanna, stuck to his guns about the body's right to choose the team. Given that the majority of AITA's funding for overseas tours comes from the ministry, this may have repercussions in the future.
It has also been learnt that Paes too may write to the sports minister, presenting his case at the behest of the tennis federation.