Paes, who recently completed a career Grand Slam, by winning the French Open mixed doubles with Swiss great Martina Hingis, however said he had complete faith on AITA president Anil Khanna and the selectors.
“I am fully confident that the AITA will send the best team in doubles for Rio. I have complete faith on the selection committee particularly Anil Khanna that they will select the best medal prospects,” Paes said at a press conference here. “Selection is always done on merit, and I am sure it will be done again this time too,” he added.
It will be Paes’ record-setting seventh appearance at the mega event for his country. But his dream has seen a potential roadblock after falling down the men’s doubles rankings in recent times.
He moved up five spots to 46 in the latest men’s rankings but that wasn’t enough to get a direct qualification berth for Rio.
Bopanna grabbed that berth after gaining a place in the top 10 rankings and has the luxury of choosing his partner from among Paes, Purav Raja (103), Divij Sharan (114), Saketh Myneni (125), Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (134) and Mahesh Bhupathi (164) for the Rio Games.
But Paes felt that his partnership with Bopanna will be India’s best bet for a medal at Rio. “I definitely do not want a repeat of what happened four years ago,” he added.