Veteran Indian tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi claimed it was Leander Paes’ decision to end their reunion within a year as he felt that they “were possibly a little too old on the tour and not able to gel on a consistent basis.”
“I guess everyone has their own opinion. Leander just felt that we were possibly a little too old on the Tour and not able to gel on a consistent basis. He felt that our team needed fresh legs on either side. Unfortunately, that’s the crux of the equation today,” Bhupathi said. The duo reunited after a nine-year gap with the plan of representing India at the Olympics next year but stunningly parted ways at the end of this season.
While Bhupathi has decided to team up with Rohan Bopanna, Paes will be partnering Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic.
Bhupathi, however, insisted that there was no fallout between the two as in the past but added that it was hard for him to explain the split.
“It’s very hard for me to explain that decision. It wasn’t my decision. When we started playing last year the Olympics was a goal, Australia and the World Championships were a goal, and I had a feeling we’d see our careers into the sunset.
“But as I said, Leander has a difference of opinion and I have to respect that. We’re professionals and at the end of the day we both love to compete and to win and we do whatever it takes to get the best out of both of us,” Bhupathi told CNN-IBN.
Bhupathi maintained that the two didn’t harbour any bitterness. “We had a chat once we got back from Shanghai and since then we’ve been practicing in Mumbai so there was no fall-out. He has his opinion and I’ve got to respect that.”