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Paes eyes Asiad, skips Hopman Cup; Bopanna named replacement

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Nov 21 (UNI) Preserving himself for the Asian Games, Leander Paes today pulled out of the inaugural Asian Hopman Cup and Rohan Bopanna has been named as the replacement.

Fearing aggravation of the index finger injury which he carried till the semifinals at the Masters Cup at Shanghai last week, Paes consulted Secretary General All India Tennis Association (AITA) Anil Khanna before deciding not to take any risk ahead of the Doha Asian Games and skip the Asian Hopman Cup to be held at Hyderabad from November 23-26.

''The decision has been made keeping in mind the best interests of the nation, and allow Leander to recoup and become fully fit for the more important national duty of participating in the Doha Asian Games in December 2006. The strenuous pressure of playing singles and mixed doubles against the top men and women players form Asia i.e. China, Japan, Philippines, Taipei and Thailand could have jeopardised his participation in the Asian Games,'' an AITA release read.

The selection committee has now reposed their faith in Rohan Bopanna to spearhead the Indian Challenge along with Sania Mirza.

UNI AY SAM BS1453

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