The bitterness of not getting a shot at the Rio Olympics mixed doubles event continues to rankle Leander Peas and the veteran Indian tennis star has no qualms in stating that the country did not send its best team for the Games.
“I can very clearly say that in this Olympics and last Olympics we didn’t put the best team forward. This Olympics the mixed doubles was a great opportunity. What more does a man need to do than win four Grand Slams in 14 months. There was no more tournaments to win, I could not create anymore tournaments. Sad. Long story short, let’s nurture these kids,” Paes said, referring to his fantastic mixed doubles run leading up to Rio.
Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna had been picked to represent India in the Games and the duo lost in the semi-finals before going down in the bronze medal playoff to USA’s Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram.
“I have a little long sight, sometimes people believe in it and sometimes people don’t. We have the Asian games coming up in 18 months and the Olympics in four years and whether I am around or not around, we need to nurture these guys or else four years from now it will again be a tussle who is playing and who is not”, he added..
The comment did not sit well with his fellow tennis players as Sania Mirza took an apparent dig at him on Twitter without taking his name:
Rohan Bopanna was among the people who retweeted Sania’s post and later in the day, Bopanna also criticized Leander for his comment:
At it again!! ...the usual ploy to stay in the news by slanging fellow players in media. #Patriotism— Rohan Bopanna (@rohanbopanna) September 18, 2016