'Playing doubles with Mahesh was worst decision'

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New Delhi, Apr 11: In a statement which may re-ignite the fued with his Davis cup doubles partner, Leander Paes today said sacrificing his singles career to play with Mahesh Bhupathi was one of the worst decisions of his career.

''When I was at the top of my singles career, I actually sacrificed my rankings to play Satellites and Future tournaments with him (Bhupathi) so that he could be at par with me which would help us get entry into ATP tournaments. Even though everyone advised me not to pick up a rookie player like Mahesh, my instincts told me to take him along,'' Leander told www.espnstar.com.

''Now, when I look back, I regret the fact that I sacrificed my singles career for him. I had won the Pilot Pen International tournament beating the top players of the world, including Pete Sampras and reached a world ranking of 73 in 1998,'' he added.

Leander and Mahesh will represent India in the doubles event of the Beijing Olympics in August.

Paes, however, said ''Playing with Mahesh again will surely bring back pleasant memories and India will stand a good chance to win a medal.'' Leander and Mahesh will team up for the doubles tie in the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania group I clash against Japan at the DLTA tomorrow.

UNI

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