In the first round we had Mahesh Bhupathi proclaiming that he doesn’t want to play doubles with Leander Paes in the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games.
Not surprisingly, Leander Paes — a bronze medalist during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics — poured his heart out “saying that he was hurt” by Bhupathi’s conduct.
According to our source: An emotionally charged Paes sounded more pained at the way Bhupathi has gone about the whole business of teaming up with him and also by the latter’s unwillingness to discuss the problems with him directly.
Despite the current hard feelings between the two, Paes is still hoping that a Paes-Bhupathi doubles team will materialize in Beijing:
“At the end of the day, we will be hurting ourselves by deflecting our focus from the goal, thus putting additional pressure to get a medal. There is no team better than Leander and Bhupathi to get an Olympic medal.”
As we stated earlier, the two — having been ranked as the world’s number one doubles team — are India’s best hope for an Olympic medal.