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We'll win it for absent Leander, say India team

India's Asian Games tennis hopefuls today said they are desperate to win gold in honour of absent Grand Slam winning Leander Paes. He is skipping Guangzhou as he is due to play in the season-ending ATP World Tour finals in London with Lukas Dlouhy.

sports Updated: Nov 11, 2010 15:26 IST

India's Asian Games tennis hopefuls on Thursday said they are desperate to win gold in honour of absent Grand Slam winning veteran Leander Paes.

Paes, who won a men's doubles and mixed doubles gold at the 2006 Asian Games, is skipping Guangzhou as he is due to play in the season-ending ATP World Tour finals in London with Czech partner Lukas Dlouhy.

"Leander is a great player and his absence is a great loss for us. We'll miss him," said Vishnuvardhan Jagdeesan, who will play in the men's team event.

"This gives us a greater motivation to pay well and also gives me the opportunity to play in the doubles."

Mahesh Bhupathi, who partnered Paes to gold in Doha, is also missing as he tries to cement his place in the London finals with Max Mirnyi.

India are also without Rohan Bopanna and Pakistan partner Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi is also missing as they are also in line for a World Tour finals spot.

In the women's event, much will be expected of Sania Mirza who was a beaten singles finalist at the Commonwealth Games last month.

"Sania is a great player," said teammate Poojashee Venkatesha. "We have big hopes of win the team gold but the Chinese team is very strong."