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Bopanna is open to playing with Paes at Rio

Bangalore:  India's doubles star Rohan Bopanna says the bitterness that had developed between him and Leander Paes in the build-up to the 2012 London Games is “long gone and over” and he was not averse

PTI PTI Updated on: September 12, 2014 16:48 IST
bopanna is open to playing with paes at rio
bopanna is open to playing with paes at rio

Bangalore:  India's doubles star Rohan Bopanna says the bitterness that had developed between him and Leander Paes in the build-up to the 2012 London Games is “long gone and over” and he was not averse to the idea of pairing with his senior compatriot for the Rio Olympics if there are no fitness issues.

Paes was furious when Bopanna decided to team up with another veteran star from the country, Mahesh Bhupathi after initially agreeing to play with him, leaving the Olympic medallist to combine with rookie Vishnu Vardhan.

Interestingly, it was now on Bopanna's insistence that Paes was asked to play along with him in Davis Cup tie against Serbia.

When asked it was surprising that he took initiative to bring Paes in the line up, despite having bitter memories from the past, Bopanna said, “I have matured as a player.”

“You can't sit back and look in the past. You take decisions at the moment and no one can tell whether it's wrong or right. No one can predict future. As players you mature and you move on, you leave the past behind. You keep going,” he told PTI in an exclusive chat ahead of their clash against Nenad Zimonjic and Illija Bozolzac.

Quizzed if this decision was taken, keeping in mind a possible pairing with Paes for the 2015 season, so that they can create an on and off court bond to have a shot at glory at 2016 Games, Bopanna said it had nothing to do with future.

“Saturday's match we are playing truly because, we are representing India. Passion for the Davis Cup will always be there. We are not taking this match whether we gel or not. I have known Leander for many years. He brings his heart out when he plays, It will be great for me. First time I am playing in Bangalore, it's my 20th tie. It's just for this Saturday and this tie. He's the best doubles player out there in India. We had to play.”

But is there a possibility that tennis fans would see them as a team at Rio Games and he says, “it's tough to tell” but one thing is sure that there was no bitterness in his heart now.

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