After the row regarding team selection for Olympics, the pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna, and Leander Paes and his new South African partner, Kevin Anderson, crashed out of the AEGON Championships after losing their respective matches. This was like after effect of the decision by AITA that Mahesh Bhupati and Rohan Bopanna would not be pairing at the tennis competitions of the London Olympics.
Two of India‘s top doubles players; Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna were disappointed that they would not be pairing at the tennis competitions of the London Olympics. The reaction follows the decision of the selection committee of the All India Tennis Association on Friday that nominated Leander Paes to partner Mahesh Bhupathi. The joint statement by Bhupathi and Bopanna, ranked 12 and 14 in the doubles respectively, dubbed the decision as “unjustified compromise” since the AITA has nominated a combination that has had four previous unsuccessful attempts. India would send only one men’s doubles tennis team to London and Paes and Bhupathi would have to play together as that team, despite stated differences.
While Bhupathi and Bopanna lost their quarter-final match to Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Canada’s Daniel Nestor, 7-6(7) 6-4, Paes and Anderson failed to clear the second-round hurdle, going down to the Serbian pair of JankoTipsarevic and Nenad Zimonjic, 6-2 4-6 7-10. The Belarussian-Canadian pair took an hour and 13 minutes to down the fifth-seeded Indian duo. While the Bhupathi-Bopanna combo failed to convert any of the three breakpoints they got, they could manage to save as many as nine out of 10 that their opponents got.
It was just one breakpoint that the World No. 1 and recent Roland Garros winners – Mirnyi and Nestor could use to their advantage and that helped them seal the match in their favour. Mirnyi and Nestor did not drop serve during the match. The unseeded duo of Paes and Anderson, who had come from a set down to beat Frenchmen Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut 6-7(1) 7-5 10-5 in the first round on Saturday, failed to carry the momentum in the next match of the day. Even as the Indian-South African pair started off well to win the first set comfortably, 6-2, the seventh-seeded Serbian combo proved to be too strong for them in the next two sets. The battle lasted an hour and nine minutes before the Serbians sailed into the quarterfinals of the competition.
Now, with only Wimbledon’s left as a major tournament before the London Olympics, Indian Tennis Team should better look towards creating the duo which would fetch a Gold medal. Since, our contingent for Olympics has been always weak. Hope our Tennis Team provides us some moments of joy at London Olympics.