It's an honour to be playing with Paes at Olympics: Sania

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Sania Mirza
New Delhi, Jul 10: The controversy over which pair should represent the country in men's doubles at the forthcoming London Olympics did not do good to any of the tennis players involved, said Sania Mirza.

She was referring to the selection row that broke out after the All India Tennis Association announced the pairing of Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes. The former asserted that he will play only with Rohan Bopanna who too made it clear that he does not want to team up with Paes.

Hence, Leander was paired with Sania in the mixed doubles, and Vishnu Vardhan in the men's doubles as a compromise. Later Sania slammed the AITA decision and expressed her dismay at being "put up as a bait to try and pacify one of the disgruntled stalwarts of Indian tennis."

Sania told Times Now on Monday that "It was difficult to block the controversy from my mind and it was disturbing me. The situation did not arise because of what I said. Mahesh and I have been very good friends but the controversy did strain our friendship."

Sania hinted that she would have liked to have Bhupathi as her partner at the Olympics. "I am a forehand player and Mahesh a backhand player, so I had preferences. But I have never said to play or not with any player. I am ready to play with anybody for my country."

She described Paes as "a very good player and long time friend" and stated that "It is an honour to be playing with him in Olympics."

Sania, who has already won medals at the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Games and the Afro-Asian Games, said that "Only an Olympic medal is left to be won. So this time I hope me and Leander get one."

OneIndia News

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