A men’s doubles Grand Slam title has eluded Mahesh Bhupathi since 2002 and the Indian tennis star is hoping to end the seven-year drought next season when he rejoins forces with Max Mirnyi.
Belarussian Mirnyi was Bhupathi’s partner when he won the US Open in 2002 and India’s highest Grand Slam title winner — 11 trophies — is hoping that the reunion would add a fifth men’s doubles major trophy to his cupboard.
“Hopefully it will be (lucky). It is not a new partnership, we have played together on the Tour and done extremely well. I am looking forward to it,” Bhupathi said.
Bhupathi had split with Mark Knowles after losing the US Open men’s doubles final to Leander Paes and Lukas Dlouhy earlier this year.
The Bangalorean said it would have been ideal to start the new season with Mirnyi when at the Chennai Open in January but since the Belarussian is not coming, he would team up with compatriot Rohan Bopanna.
“Yes, I would be playing with Rohan. I would have loved to start (season) with Max at Chennai but since he is not playing this tournament, I will partner Rohan,” he said.
Bhupathi said India stand a good chance to grab medals when tennis makes its debut in the Commonwealth Games next year here.
“The top three players of India including Sania (Mirza), Leander (Paes) and myself along with Somdev (Devvarman) would be there. I am quite hopeful that we can win medals there,” he said.
Recently Sania had said that since the mixed doubles event has been added to the 2012 London Olympics, India had the best opportunity to win a medal, but Bhupathi said at this moment he won’t think about an event, which is still two-three years away.
“My priority at this moment is Commonwealth Games.
Olympics are too far and then 2010 itself has a busy schedule,” Bhupathi, who won the Australian Open mixed doubles title with Sania this year, said.
Looking back at the year gone by, Bhupathi said he was satisfied with his performance.
“I made three Grand Slam finals. It was a good solid year,” he said.
Asked to pick his sportspersons of the year, the veteran tennis star chose Olympic bronze medal-winning boxer Vijender Singh and badminton sensation Saina Nehwal.