New Delhi: Rohan Bopanna on Friday picked Saketh Myneni instead of ace Leander Paes for the upcoming Rio Olympics 2016.
As per reports, world number 10 Bopanna, in a letter to the All India Tennis Association (AITA) expressed his desire to partner with Myneni, ranked 125, instead of the legendary Paes.
The letter to AITA read: “Proud to have earned a direct acceptance to men’s doubles,” the world number 10 Bopanna said. Bopanna has earned a direct entry to Rio Olympics courtesy his top-10 ranking.
“I have earned the right to exercise my judgement on my partner for Rio Olympics. Look forward to AITA supporting me in the lead up to the Rio Games,” Bopanna further wrote ahead of the selection meet on Saturday to pick the team for Rio.
Paes had earlier expressed his desire to partner with Bopanna. He had said, “We definitely don’t want a repeat of London.” Bopanna had preferred to partner Mahesh Bhupathi in men’s doubles thus forcing Paes to go into the London Games with rookie Vishnu Vardhan.
“We are playing at a very high level. My career speaks for itself and Rohan has also been doing well in last 18 months. We both are ready and without a shadow of doubt, me and Rohan are the best team,” Paes added.
The reports come in despite Paes being the only Olympic medallist for India in the sport. Paes had won a bronze in the 1996 Atlanta Games. The old war horse also boasts of a magnificent record of eight Grand Slam titles in men’s doubles and 10 in mixed doubles. Paes was a quarter finalist in the 2012 London Games.
Bopanna’s best outing in a Grand Slam was in 2010 when the 36-year-old reached the finals of the US Open with Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi but lost to Bryan brothers Mike and Bob.