SPORT

ATP cancels World doubles championship

PARIS Oct. 31. Next week's men's World doubles championship in Chile, originally due to be held in the Indian city of Bangalore, has been cancelled because of sponsorship problems.

``An alternative venue had been found in Chile,'' Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) director of communications Benito Perez-Barbadillo told Reuters on Sunday. ``But because of the short notice many of the top doubles teams could not play then.''

The event will not be played at all in 2002, although it is planned that next year it will run in conjunction with the ATP Masters Cup.

India opted out of holding the event for the third year running due to sponsorship problems arising after their top players Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi split up their successful partnership.

``We had a two-year contract for the event and have not sought a renewal,'' Sundar Raju, a senior tennis official in the southern Indian city, which had organised the last two events, said this week. India successfully bid for the event in 2000 and 2001 with the main attraction being that former World No. 1 pair Paes and Bhupathi was among the main contenders. But the duo, who won three Grand Slam, split this year mainly due to personal differences.

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