Indian Journalists are going nuts over tennis star Leander Paes not having reached Rio yet for the Olympics that gets under way tomorrow.
He appears to have informed the All-India Tennis Association (AITA) in advance about his other commitments in the U.S. where he and Hingis represent Washington Kastles in the World Team Tennis (WTT) tournament. They had helped the Washington Kastles win the WTT title last year, with the 2016 tournament now under way.
Paes, who captained the team, had, in fact, emerged as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament then, having won the Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles matches.
He is the only Indian tennis player to have won an Olympic bronze in singles. That was two decades ago – in 1996.
With AITA aware of the commitments of Paes, I am amused at coach Zeeshan Ali and Bopanna pleading ignorance about his whereabouts.
The pretensions are just to make Paes look like a villain with the active support of the silly Indian media brigade.
It is no secret that the entire Indian team, including big-mouth Sania Mirza and Bopanna, hate Paes. So it is not difficult to understand the discomfiture of Paes in having to share space with them.
Paes is expected to arrive in Rio later today. So patience guys! Two extra days of practice will make no big difference for seasoned players.
Ideally, Bopanna and Paes should have played a tournament or two together before the Olympics.
But Bopanna dislikes playing with Paes and had made it clear that he did not wish to partner him even at the Olympics. As did Sania! So, they are the real villains, not Paes.
In any case, India has no chance of winning a medal in tennis. The world’s top singles players are representing their countries, so they will feature in the Doubles events unlike in the regular Grand Slam tournaments. So relax guys. And this is for the Indian media who are prone to blowing things out of proportion.
So relax guys. And this is for the Indian media who are prone to blowing things out of proportion.
G Joslin Vethakumar