I will not request AITA to field me in the singles category: Leander Paes

Written by: Sujata Sarkar
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Bengaluru, Sep 12: Leander Paes has clearly informed he would not request the All India Tennis Association (AITA) to allow him play any of the singles matches in the crucial Davis Cup match against Spain.

The discussion has come out just before four days of the match as 43 year old Indian tennis icon had recently revealed his dream of touching Ramanathan Krishnan who still holds the record of playing maximum number of singles matches in Davis Cup.

File photo: Leander Paes

Asked whether there is a chance of being a singles match between Paes and Rafael Nadal in the Davis Cup, Leander stated, “I will not request AITA or our non-playing captain and coach to think over fielding me in the singles.

"But against South Korea the there came a situation when the players’ muscles had cramped amidst the scorching heat during the match.

"In that case both I and Rohan were informally instructed that we might have to take part in the reverse singles matches. If the situation in the Spain match is created also the same and if I am asked to play singles then only I will play singles.”

Paes created controversy by reaching Rio Olympics only two days before the start of the tournament. It might be the reason that against Spain, he is joining the team’s training session three days before the match is scheduled to start on 16th September.

And commenting on another recent controversy where non-playing captain Anand Amritraj expressed discontent over AITA decision of staging the match in the evening instead of afternoon, Leander explained, “I do not want to get involved into the matter. Rather I want to say European players are truly professional and that is why they organise their pre-tournament training according to the weather they will have to face in the match.

"I am sure that Spain team must have trained in the hot and humid weather before they reach here in New Delhi. I do not think even playing the matches in the afternoon would have mattered much to the Spain players.”

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