Rohan Bopanna yet to get a word from AITA or Leander Paes on Rio Olympics pairing

It has been a month since the All India Tennis Association (AITA) has turned down Rohan Bopanna’s request of partnering Saketh Myneni in doubles at Rio Olympics. The association chose Leander Paes instead, a selection that did not go down well with Bopanna, world No.9 in doubles rankings. On Monday, when asked about the selection, Bopanna played it right down the line. “They have asked us to play together and that’s what we are going to do. When you go out to play, you play as professional players. We just have to go on court and play our tennis and try to gel together on court and try to find a way to win. I have not had a word from anyone. Neither from the federation nor from the player,” said Bopanna, who is in Chandigarh for the Davis Cup tie against South Korea. “Whatever I say, it won’t make a difference. That’s not going to change the scenario. We just have to stick with what is happening. Like I said everyday is a new day so we will have to wait and see. Did I have a choice? They did not tell me and I got the information through media,” Bopanna added. In the intervening one month Bopanna had been busy playing with regular partner Florin Mergea. They bowed out in the round of 16 at Wimbledon and lost in the same round at the Queen’s Cup. With less than a month to go for the Rio Olympics, Bopanna will now team up with Paes against South Korea on the grass courts of Chandigarh Club and the 36-year-old made it clear playing with Paes on the tour is not an option. “I cannot get in with Leander to play a tournament. There is no Indian out there with whom I can get in any tournament if I want to train ahead of the Rio Olympics. The cut-off in Washington and Toronto is 50 and there is no Indian ranked high barring me. So, even if I want to play with somebody, I cannot play. Unless you assure me of a wildcard for such events,” added Bopanna. Paes is currently ranked 55 in doubles. Bopanna and Paes have a 2-2 win-loss record in Davis Cup while the former and Mayneni have a 2-1 score out of the three times they have teamed up in doubles for India. Next week Bopanna would be off to Toronto for the ITF masters before landing in Rio five days prior to the tennis event. He has been training under his coach Scott David and says the federation should send a coach and physio at Rio. “I will have five days to train at Rio. I am still hoping that the federation sends a coach and physio for me. I have been training with my personal coach Scott David and he will be with me in Toronto, not in Rio,” he said.

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