Rohan Bopanna has selected his men's doubles partner for the Rio Olympics 2016 and it is not Leander Paes, reports said on Friday. The 36-year-old, who secured a direct entry to the quadrennial sporting event courtesy his top 10 ranking in men's doubles tennis, has selected Saketh Myneni as his partner.
In a letter to the All India Tennis Association (AITA), Bopanna announced his selection of 28-year-old Myneni, who ranks 125 in men's doubles tennis.
"Proud to have earned a direct acceptance to men's doubles," News 18 quoted Bopanna, who ranks No. 10 in men's doubles, as saying in the letter. "I have earned the right to exercise my judgement on my partner for Rio Olympics. Look forward to AITA supporting me in the lead up to the Rio Games," he added.
The AITA now has to decide whether they are indeed happy on Bopanna's decision to partner Myneni, ahead of Paes. The final Indian tennis team for Rio will be selected on Saturday following a meeting of the national selectors.
One of the most experienced tennis players India have ever produced, Paes, had expressed his interest earlier of playing in his seventh Olympics and was looking forward to partnering Bopanna once again in Rio Olympics 2016.
"Rohan and I are the best possible combination. We are playing at a very high level. My career speaks for itself and Rohan has also been doing well in the last 18 months. We both are ready and without a shadow of doubt; me and Rohan are the best team," the 42-year-old had told the Hindustan Times.
Bopanna, meanwhile, will be partnering Sania Mirza in the mixed doubles event at Rio 2016.