Theirs is one of the most poignant of tales. Two men who were once closer than brothers fell apart 10 years ago, but have come together again to forge a new identity for Indian tennis. They were the harbingers of a new attitude; as a team, they were world-beaters.
Then Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi’s egos tripped up their dreams.
“Too much success at a young age and the inability to cope with the poor advice of hangers-on,” Paes explained to Hindustan Times in a rare moment of candour. Bhupathi still refuses to speak of the acrimony on record.
Now, they are set to come together again. First for the Chennai Open and then for the year’s first Grand Slam — the Australian Open — an event that neither has won.