It’s so sad but it stays so true: Our tennis stamps awake the Indian sports fans’ comatose interest largely when it barks out controversy. Ask the lay people on the street and if they happen to recall the names of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, rest assured that the first thing that they remember will be one of the many public spats that the two have had in the press over the years.
That the two have 27 Grand Slam titles between them becomes a slighted footnote.
The Aircel Chennai Open offers the biggest press platform to our players. Invariably that has meant that it becomes the default tournament for sundry disenchantment to spill out. An open players’ revolt against the national association, players questioning others’ commitment to play for the country, or, as in the case of this edition, Paes saying how his claim to play both the mixed and men’s doubles events at the Rio Olympics is supreme on pure merit.