The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has stated that Leander Paes has been selected as the men's doubles partner for Rohan Bopanna for the Rio Olympics 2016. On Friday, Bopanna had said that Saketh Myneni was his preferred partner for the event.
However, following a meeting on Saturday by the national selectors, the AITA announced that they were keen on sending the veteran Paes for the mega sporting event. "Rohan Bopanna respects Paes, he has given us his reasons why he would prefer Saket Myneni," Anil Khanna of the AITA told ANI.
"The AITA Selection Committee has now made its decision after due consideration of my representation and has selected the team for the Olympics. I respect this decision and look forward to participating in Rio," said Bopanna to NDTV following AITA's decision.
Khanna added that Paes would be a better partner for Bopanna. "He (Bopanna) has given reasons to selection committee on why he feels Saketh could be a better doubles partner. But he has also made it clear that he wants to represent the nation. It was a well-meaning letter (which Bopanna wrote yesterday to AITA). Leander and Rohan have played four times in Davis Cup, they have a 2-2 record," Khanna said.
"Committee decided that the best bet for Indian tennis to win a medal at the Olympics would be Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna."
Bopanna, meanwhile, will go ahead with Sania Mirza as his partner in the mixed doubles event at Rio Olympics. Sania, on her part, will be teaming up with Prarthana Thombare in the women's doubles event.