Treaty of Paris: Bhupathi ready to partner Paes
Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi decide to put their differences aside and partner each other at the Beijing Olympics, reports Deepika Sharma.sports Updated: Jun 03, 2008 22:59 IST
The fight and patch up cycle continues. On Monday in Paris, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi decided to put their differences aside and partner each other at the Beijing Olympics.
As decided, the two, along with the All India Tennis Association (AITA) secretary-general Anil Khanna, met in the French capital on Monday to talk things out. Bhupathi's condition that the two play in ATP events before the Games instead of simply undergoing a camp was met.
Now they will gear up for Beijing with a combination of match play and training. Paes and Bhupathi will team up for the Ordina Open in s'Hertongenbosch, Holland, a week before Wimbledon, on grass. They will also play a hard court event in Indianapolis.
In addition, they will train with Paes' coach Rick Leach and Bhupathi's coach Scott Davidoff and a trainer just before the Games. Bhupathi recently aired his tale of woe against Paes. Currently ranked No. 9 in doubles, Bhupathi said he would rather have Rohan Bopanna as partner as Paes was uncommunicative and he and Rohan would have a better chance in Beijing.
In a statement on Tuesday, Khanna said he had settled matters and the former No. 1 pair in the world were willing to team up again.
"Leander and Mahesh, being true patriots and professionals, have agreed to put in their best effort by pairing up for Beijing Olympics to win a medal for the country," Khanna said. "In a meeting held in Paris on June 2 with me, Leander and Mahesh have set up a preparation programme for the Olympics.
"I would also like to add that the meeting was extremely cordial and both the players had only one interest and that was to do their best at the Olympics.
"Both players will reach Beijing for the opening ceremony and will have a training session in Beijing for a few days before the tennis competition begins."
The duo have won three Grand Slam titles together and reached the semifinals of the 2004 Athens Olympics. They last teamed up during the Davis Cup tie against Japan in April.
With this piece of news strengthening India's hopes of striking a medal at the Olympics, one would only hope that fireworks happen only on the court and not off it.