Bickering Indian tennis stars to begin Wimbledon campaign

Leander Paes-Mahesh Bhupathi
London, Jun 24: India's squabbling tennis players would be eager to prove a point amid a bitter selection row for next month's Olympics here when they take the court at the prestigious Wimbledon Championships starting at the All England Club on Monday.

Since the Olympics will be played at the same grass courts, it is an opportunity for players to get a hang of the conditions but more importantly for them, the event is also a chance to outdo each other and score a few brownie points after the bitter wrangling over who pairs up with whom for the Olympics.

Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna, after having their way in getting selected as a team for the Olympics, would look to do that extra bit in getting a good result here to convince the country that their fight was worth it. They have done reasonably well since teaming up at the start of the season. They won an ATP title in Dubai and reached the semi-finals of five other tournaments, including the three elite Master events. They have been seeded seventh here and have an easy opener against the unseeded pair of Marcel Felder of Uruguay and Malek Jaziri of Tunisia.

Meanwhile, Leander Paes, who is apparently unhappy at being paired with a lower-ranked Vishnu Vardhan for the Olympics, is not going into the big event in a good frame of mind but he is expected to leave the bickering outside the court once he starts playing. With Radek Stepanek, he made a spectacular start to the season by completing his career Slam by clinching the Australian Open trophy. He also won two more titles with his Czech partner.


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