The All India Tennis Association is expected to take a decision on the pair which will represent India in the London Olympics. The AITA will address the media at 1pm on Thursday on the team selection row.
The crisis in Indian tennis took a turn for the worse on Wednesday with Leander Paes threatening to pull out of the Olympics should he be paired with a junior player for the men’s doubles event.
In a letter to the All India Tennis Association (AITA), Paes said he was ready to walk out of the team for the “sake of Indian tennis”.
“I’m comfortable with partnering Mahesh Bhupathi or Rohan Bopanna. If they refuse to play with me, I’ll be happy to play with the next best player AITA decides on,” Paes said.
“However, it would not be acceptable... if I am made to play with a player ranked 207/306 in the world while the No. 13 and No. 15-ranked (doubles) players form another team.”
The AITA had earlier proposed a two-team theory where Paes would partner a lower-ranked player while Bhupathi would play with Bopanna. “Two teams won’t be an option if Paes pulls out,” AITA chief Anil Khanna said.
Paes also said that allowing Bhupathi and Bopanna to defy the decision of the selection committee would set a bad example for future players.