Rio Olympics: Leander Paes Says he is Best Man For Sania Mirza


Indian tennis star Leander Paes has staked his claim to represent India at the Olympics. Paes, who has 17 Grand Slam titles to his name, had bagged the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open with Martina Hingis in 2015, to become the first pair to win three Grand Slams in a calendar year.

Paes hoped that there would be no repeat of the London Olympics controversy, and that the selection of the team would be done on merit.

The build-up to the 2012 London Games was marred by a selection row as players resorted to bickering amongst themselves. A can of worms opened up when Rohan Bopanna refused to partner Paes in the event, insisting on teaming up with Mahesh Bhupathi.

“Selection should always be done on merit. I believe having won nine mixed doubles and eight doubles titles I would be the front runner to represent India at the Olympics – both in the men’s doubles with Rohan Bopanna and mixed doubles with Sania Mirza.

“I think when you look at the mixed doubles in particular, Rohan has never even been in final. In fact I played him in the semifinal at the US Open and I beat him. Neither Sania nor Rohan, have been in mixed doubles final this whole year in 2015 and Rohan has never been in mixed doubles final in his career, so I hope that I get the opportunity to go on merit in both doubles and mixed doubles with Rohan and Sania.

“But at this stage nothing surprises me after London and I really hope for the Indian public, fans and for us Indian athletes that London doesn’t replay itself,” said Paes.

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