Bangalore, Jun 16: Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna are set to face the axe for insisting on playing as a team as the All India Tennis Association selection committee will send just one combination for the Olympics men's doubles event with Leander Paes being the first choice.
The committee meeting is still on but AITA has made it clear that Paes will be a part of the team. The other spot was offered to Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna but both insisted on being paired together and refused to compete in partnership with Paes.
“They had called Bhupathi to pair up with Paes but he has refused. Then they called Bopanna and he also refused to play with Paes,” AITA sources said.
Sources revealed the AITA is likely to pair Paes with either Somdev Devvarman or a young player such as Yuki Bhambri.
Somdev has not played competitive tennis almost from the start of the 2012 season due to a shoulder injury so his preparedness for the big event is not known.
Bhupathi and Bopanna had made it clear to the AITA that they want to compete in the Olympics as a team and that's why they had combined at the start of the year.
But Paes is the only player to make a direct cut into the men's doubles draw courtesy his top-10 spot in the ATP ranking charts.
Bhupathi and Bopanna too, with a combined ranking of 26, can easily enter the men's doubles draw but AITA was keen to pair one of them with Paes.