Faced with a pullout threat from Leander Paes, the All India Tennis Association (AITA) has sent one of its selectors to London to pacify the veteran, who is miffed at not getting a partner of choice for the men’s doubles event of the London Olympics.
The world number seven doubles player, who is the only Indian to have got a direct entry into the Olympics on the basis of his top-10 ranking, is disappointed at being paired with a much lower-ranked Vishnu Vardhan (world ranking 206) for the London event.
This came after AITA decided to send two teams to the Olympics, following Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna’s adamant refusal to pair with Paes and insistence on being sent as a team.
According to the compromise formula worked out by AITA, Paes will get to pair with Sania Mirza in the Olympics’ mixed doubles event if she gets a wild card entry.
“Senior AITA selector Rohit Rajpal is being flown to London to speak to Paes and convince him over the two-team formula,” an AITA source told PTI.
The compromise formula was announced barely hours before the deadline for sending entries expired.