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Paes won’t play if paired with juniors

Paes won’t play if paired with juniors
The tennis imbroglio worsened on Wednesday with Leander Paes threatening to withdraw from the London Olympics if he is paired with a lower-ranked player, forcing the All India Tennis Association (AITA) to defer the team announcement till Thursday.

Paes communicated to AITA in a letter that being the country's top-ranked player, he was not ready to pair with a junior player just because Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna had refused to team up with him. 'If Mahesh or Rohan refuse to play with me for our country, then I am happy to play with the next best player that the AITA decides on. It would not be acceptable if, with my ranking as the best Indian tennis player, I give up the best option of partner for winning a medal for my country and am made to play the Olympics with a player ranked 207/306 in the world while the No. 13 and No. 15 ranked players form another team together based on their refusal to play with me,' he wrote in the letter to the AITA.

The junior players referred to in the letter are Vishnu Vardhan (ranked 207) and the teenager Yuki Bhambri (ranked 306). 'If this is the case, then for the sake of Indian Tennis and to relieve the AITA in regards to the selection of the team, I have no other option but to withdraw from the Olympics. We cannot be condoning or rewarding the drama enacted by Mahesh and Rohan. This would be a bad precedent for current and future sports persons (particularly tennis players) in our country,' he said.
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