On Break Point, Leander Paes says he suspected Mahesh Bhupathi of being ‘very close’ to his girlfriend

Oct 03, 2021 05:02 PM IST

Break Point tells the story of formidable tennis partners Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi and the bad blood that was between them.

Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi's documentary series Break Point released on Zee5 last week and it is full of some explosive revelations made by the tennis stars. Directed by husband-wife duo Nitesh and Ashwini Iyer Tiwari, the series chronicles their rise as India's first tennis team to win Grand Slam titles and also their controversial split.

Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi talked about the souring of their relationship on Break Point.
Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi talked about the souring of their relationship on Break Point.

In one scene, Leander and Mahesh revealed how their partnership ended due to mistrust in one another. After winning the 1999 French Open Men's Doubles title, Leander and Paes grew apart due to various doubts, ego issues and misunderstandings. So wide was the rift between them that they chose different partners to play the French Open next year. However, their coaches were less than happy about this situation. 

Leander's coach, Bob Carmichael locked them up in a massage room and told them to sort out their differences, something they also wanted. Mahesh asked Leander to tell him the issues he is facing but was hit with something unexpected.

Leander said, “It was hard for me, 1999. There were so many things for me that were breaking down. I was at a very fragile stage in my life with my tennis partnership, with my relationship. And I was being told rumours about Mahesh being close to her, very close to her.”

Mahesh said, “I looked at him and I said, ‘Leander are you being serious? Do you actually believe in your heart that I would do something like that?’ He said yes. I said, ‘Then this is a lot more broken than I thought it was.’ And that was the end of French Open discussion.”

Leander still expected an answer. “And he got up and he stormed out of the room. He pulled out of the conversation. He didn't even answer the question.”

It is not known who the woman Leander referred to was. He dated actor Mahima Chaudhary for a while before they broke up in early 2000s. She later revealed that he had cheated on her with Sanjay Dutt's second wife, Rhea Pillai. 

Also read: In Break Point trailer, Leander Paes-Mahesh Bhupathi reveal story of ‘divorce’, throw accusations: 'Be a man'

Leander and Rhea later moved in together and had a daughter. They, too, had a bitter break up. The former tennis star is currently dating actor Kim Sharma.

Mahesh, meanwhile, got married to Shvetha Jaishankar in 2002 and they separated seven years later. In 2011, he got married to actor Lara Dutta. They also have a daughter, Saira.

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