Playing doubles with Mahesh my worst decision: Paes

April 11th, 2008 - 3:11 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 11 (IANS) In a startling revelation Indian Davis Cup captain Leander Paes said that the decision to play doubles with Mahesh Bhupathi was the worst decision he made in his career. Paes said that he sacrificed his singles career by opting to play doubles with Mahesh Bhupathi in the late 1990s.

“When I was at the top of my singles career, I actually sacrificed my rankings to play Satellites and Future tournaments with him (Bhupathi) so that he could be at par with me which would help us get entry into ATP tournaments.

“Though everyone advised me not to pick up a rookie player like Mahesh, my instincts told me to take him along,” Paes was quoted as saying by

“Now, when I look back, I regret the fact that I sacrificed my singles career for him. I had won the Pilot Pen International tournament beating the top players of the world, including Pete Sampras and reached a world ranking of 73 in 1998.

“Going by my performance then, I should have focussed on singles. Opting to play doubles with Mahesh was probably the worst decision of my playing career.”

The statement by Paes is sure to create more friction in the Davis Cup team, which is currently playing against formidable Japan to qualify for the World Group play-off. The team is already divided with Bhupathi, Rohan Bopanna and Prakash Armitraj revolting against Paes.

The rift between Paes and Bhupathi started from the Doha Asian Games in 2006. After the duo won the doubles gold Bhupathi came out and said that he would never play with Paes any more.

But Paes is likely to team up with Mahesh to represent India in the doubles event of the Beijing Olympics in August.

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