Paes confirms London Olympics participation
London, June 29 (ANI): Tennis ace Leander Paes confirmed his participation in the London Olympics on Friday, ending days of speculation after his very public display of anger at the All India Tennis Association (AITA), the game's governing body.
Speaking at a post-match press conference after his first round doubles' victory with Czech partner Radek Stepanek at the ongoing Wimbledon, Paes said, "I am looking forward to representing my country with the teams that the AITA have selected. I am here to play sport and not politics."
The 39-year-old had threatened to withdraw from the Olympics despite being India's number one doubles player after being paired with a lower-ranked Vishnu Vardhan.
Paes' partners of choice-Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna-refused to partner him and insisted on being sent as a team themselves.
The AITA ultimately decided to send two teams, leaving Paes furious.
Paes was given the mixed doubles slot with Sania Mirza, breaking the latter's Grand Slam winning combination with Bhupathi, causing Mirza to take potshots at the AITA.
Paes, however, chose to stay mum on Sania's outburst.
"Unfortunately, I see games being played within games, and as much as that is very disheartening, I am looking forward to playing my sixth Olympics for my country as I have played for 22 years for the people and the flag," he added.
The world number seven doubles player said he had no complaints about being paired with Vardhan, who is ranked 206 in the ATP list. Instead, he said that he would help Vardhan to make his Games debut memorable.
"I don't even know if he has grass-court shoes. So it's a bit of a tough one. But he's a really good kid, I'm happy to play with him," Paes conceded. (ANI)
Read More: Vishnu Garden | Mahesh Nagar | Rohan | Chandpur Mirza | Mahesh Khera | Sarai Mahesh | Mirzapur Mahesh Urf Bankpur | Mahesh Pur | Sania Kande | Sania Hemad | Mahesh -1 | Mahesh 2 | Bara Mahesh] | Mirza | Mahesh Khola | Mahesh Munda | Mirza Nagar Edso | Mahesh Batna | Sania Mirza | All India Tennis Association
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