Tennis veteran Leander Paes on Friday confirmed his participation in the London Olympics and agreed to play with Vishnu Vardhan and said, "I don't even know if he has grass-court shoes. So it's a bit of a tough one."
Paes' comment created a buzz on the microblogging site Twitter, where the Twitterati slammed him by saying that the quote was completely uncalled for.
Here is what they had to say
I'm willing to buy Vishnu Vardhan grass court shoes. But where can I buy Leander Paes some grace?
One does not simply not buy shoes for vishnu vardhan without buying grace for leander pace.
The context was about partnering Vishnu Vardhan. He could have used words like inexperience and all that. Grass court shoes? Uncalled for.
Vishnu Vardhan...a bigger person than Leander Paes
With all the Paes-Bhupati-Sania-Bopanna scene, Vishnu Vardhan is being underestimated. Would now like to see Paes-Vardhan win.
After days of maintaining a stoic silence on his Olympic participation, Paes said despite being left disheartened by the controversy, he is focussed on playing "sport and not politics".
Paes, the world number seven doubles player, said he had no complaints about being paired with Vardhan, who is ranked 207 in the ATP list.
The seven-time Grand Slam winner in men's doubles is a singles bronze medal winner from in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Paes, set to make a record sixth Olympic appearance, said he would look to help Vardhan, who would be making Games' debut in London.
"Whatever the obstacles are, which I see are going to be many - he's never been to Wimbledon before - whatever I can do as an experienced professional athlete to help my partners out, I do," he said.