Pairing with Lee worst possible for country: Mahesh

Leander Paes-Mahesh Bhupathi
New Delhi, Jun 16: A furious Mahesh Bhupathi today lashed out at the All India Tennis Association (AITA) by terming his pairing with Leander Paes for the London Olympics as "worst possible in the interest of the country".

Bhupathi was also furious that AITA chose not to send two teams for the mega event and said the decision has something "more to it than meets the eye."

"The ship that I and Leander boarded has sailed long time ago. We have split four times, gone to the Olympics four times and returned empty-handed. For us going back to the Olympics (together) is worst possible in the interest of country," Bhupathi said on Friday.

Bhupathi, who dared the AITA to ban him, didn't stop short of calling Paes a "back-stabber" referring to latter's decision to split during the end of last season.

"He (Paes) publicly and privately stabbed me in the back in November, last year and things can't be turned around. We don't speak and have no camaraderie," he told reporters.

Bhupathi took potshots at AITA saying that with Bopanna's emergence as a top doubles player, the federation had options this time around.

"Earlier, we had no options but now we had a top doubles player who is there in the mix. They could have sent two teams but they decided against it. Certainly, there is something more to it than meets the eye. Sadly, they don't have a proper reason for this. But that's how it has been in Indian sports."

Bhupathi was also sarcastic about the pairs chances at the quadrennial extravaganza.

"If anyone can make a case that we (Leander and him) have done well in the last four Olympics, then
I am happy to go in the fifth. But I am pretty sure that we would struggle. If AITA feels I should be banned, so be it. They are the be all and know all of Indian tennis," he concluded.


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