Selection row is 'forgotten and gone', says Bopanna

Rohan Bopanna
London, Jul 31: Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna on Monday insisted that the selection row ahead of the ongoing Olympics involving his partner Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes is a thing of the past now.

Indian tennis witnessed an ugly spat just ahead of the London Games when Bhupathi refused to play with his former partner Paes in the men's doubles competition and instead insisted that he be paired with Bopanna for the mega-event.

After several weeks of tension, the All India Tennis Federation was forced to bow down before the warring players as it named Bhupathi and Bopanna as partners, while paired up Paes with rookie Vishnu Vardhan.

"The baggage is forgotten and gone, long gone. We got here well prepared so for us it's just one match at a time and take it from there," Bopanna said after he and Bhupathi kicked off their campaign with a 7-6(4) 6-7(4) 8-6 win over Max Mirnyi and Alexander Bury of Belarus.

"We are happy that we got a lot of practice here for the last week and now to play this tough match and take a win is just going to take our confidence higher," he added.

The Indian pair will now take on French combination of Richard Gasquet and Julien Benneteau in the second round and Bopanna seemed confident of making a strong claim for a podium finish.

"We were playing at a high level, I don't think we were nervous at all."

Speaking about their opponents today, Bopanna said, "We played a really tough team. Mirnyi is number one in the world. We just went there and played our natural game and came through on top."

His partner Bhupathi is happy to have launched their campaign on a positive note. "We didn't want to be in that situation. We should have closed the match in two sets. But we are just happy with the win," he said.


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