Krishna jumps in, but no solution for Olympic tennis team

June 20th, 2012 - 7:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Rohan Bopanna New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) India’s External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna has called for the players to resolve their differences but this has had little impact as the All India Tennis Association (AITA) was Wednesday forced to postpone by a day its decision on the pairing of the men’s doubles team for the London Olympics.

Krishna, the honorary life president of the AITA, asked Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna to resolve their problems with Leander Paes in the country’s best interests.

According to top officials in the AITA, Krishna told the players that they should respect India’s interests and resolve their individual differences at the earliest. He also told the players that India’s image should never be compromised for personal issues.

But despite his appeal, Paes reportedly said that he was not going to pair up with anybody except Bhupathi or Bopanna and he is not in favour of sending two teams for the Games.

AITA is now running out of time as Thursday is the last date of submitting entries for the London Olympics to the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

The AITA was all set to announce the final pairing Wednesday evening after Sports Minister Ajay Maken made it amply clear Tuesday that it was the prerogative of the AITA to select the pairing for the Olympic Games.

The AITA top brass held a marathon meeting till late Tuesday night and, according to sources, felt sending two teams was the best option. They decided Bhupathi and Bopanna, who have qualified as a team, should be allowed to participate and Paes should tie up with Vishu Vardhan or Yuki Bhambhri.

But AITA’s decision didn’t go down well with Paes, who reportedly threatened to pull out of the Games if he was asked to pair with a junior partner.

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