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June 18th, 2012
Rohan Bopanna refused to pair with Leander Paes

The crisis which has rocked the Indian tennis deepened today with Rohan Bopanna refused AITA’s offer to pair withLeander Paes for the men’s doubles event of the London Olympics. After Bhupathi’s stubborn refusal to team up with PaesBopanna’s stand has put All India Tennis Association (AITA) in a fix after it made the controversial decision to nominate the long-feuding Lee-Hesh for the Games next month.

Bopanna wrote to AITA this morning, making it clear that he cannot combine with Paes although it is his “dream to represent India in Olympics”.Bopanna said he was approached by the AITA with a request to pair withPaes as the AITA’s ‘second choice’ team.

“With all respect and humility, I have been unable to accept AITA’s offer and have communicated my decision to them in writing this morning,” Bopannasaid in a statement. He also added that “In October 2011, I broke up an extremely successful partnership withAisam Qureshi as I believed that Olympics preparedness required hard work and understanding between partners and the numerous little adjustments that make a team work.

“This was the toughest professional decision I have taken, as it signified an end to a great partnership and jeopardised a close friendship that was built over many years of struggle and, ultimately, success on the ATP Tour. Having been ranked No. 8 in the world last year, I could have taken a far easier route to Olympics qualification – if that was my only goal – by continuing my existing partnership and aiming for a personal top-10 ranking.

“However, I am an athlete who believes that outcomes are a product of process and preparation. I also believe that successful partnerships of every sort require investment of time and emotions through the ups and downs, and that sporting partnerships are no different,” he said.