New Delhi, Jun 3 (UNI) India's ace doubles player Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi have finally agreed to set aside their personal differences and agreed to team up for the Beijing Olympics, the AITA said here today.
All India Tennis Association (AITA) secretary Anil Khanna met both players yesterday in Paris on the sidelines of the French Open and persuaded them to reunite.
''I am very pleased that Leander and Mahesh have agreed to my request of playing two tournaments together and also train together for one week in preparation for the Olympics,'' Khanna said in a statement.
''They are both great nationalists and I am quite confident that they should win a medal for India from Beijing Olympics,'' he added.
The three time Grand Slam winners looked unlikely to team up for the August Games after Bhupathi refused to play with Paes, who had declined to play tournaments with him in the build-up.
Bhupathi, who had prefered Davis Cupper Rohan Bopanna over Paes, was satisfied with the outcome.
''I am happy with the whole result now as we have decided to play a couple of tournaments. That will to provide us with some useful practice and it looks good from here on,'' Bhupathi said in Paris.
''I think it will help us prepare better for the Olympics,'' he said, adding they would train in Los Angeles for a few days before travelling to Beijing.
''We will try our best and do whatever the best we can,'' he added.
They will play together in two events before and after Wimbledon, and then train together under the supervision of Rick Leach, Paes's coach, and Bhupathi's trainer Scott Davidoff.
Their rift, a running saga over the last few years, came out in open at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha where they still managed to claim the title.
This year, Bhupathi stood behind his younger team mates' demand for Paes to be removed as Davis Cup captain, although the federation refused to cave in to their demands.
UNI RAR RKM PM1645