It seems that the players’ row in this Rio Olympics is going on changing in the all the games. A few days back there was an issue regarding the selection of Sushil Kumar in the 74 kilos category of wrestling. Now, another change has been reported. In the men’s doubles of tennis, we shall get to see the duo of Rohan Bopanna and Saketh Myneni. The top-ranked men’s doubles player with a world ranking of No. 10, has reportedly pickedSaketh Myneni(No. 125) as his partner for theRio Olympics. The strangest thing is that he did not choose Leander Paes who ranks 46th at the international level. Leander Paes even has a medal (bronze in the 1996 Atlanta Games) in his collection. It’s no secret that Bopanna and he don’t exactly share a high comfort level anymore.
Now another twist is that for mixed doubles Sania Mirza has appealed to the All India Tennis Association that she would prefer playing with Bopanna more than Paes. So it is clear that Paes is getting cornered gradually. But, Paes has won four mixed pair titles from six majors in the past 18 months.
The only hope that the tennis fans of India can keep now is that they don’t want to see any more bitterness and ego clash that they saw in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics. Then, Bopanna had preferred to partnerMahesh Bhupathiin the men’s doubles, forcing Paes to pair up with rookieVishnu Vardhan. Sania Mirza, who had won the French Open mixed doubles, had to pair up with Mahesh Bhupathi leading up to the London Olympics -had to forgo the opportunity of playing with Bhupathi – and what she called “a genuine chance for a medal” – to play with Paes.