The Indian contingent were struck with a heavy blow when it was announced that India that its three frontline tennis players, including Leander Paes, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna.
With the Asian Games around the corner, the Indian contingent were struck with a heavy blow when it was announced that India that its three frontline tennis players, including Leander Paes, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna will not be taking part of the team in China instead will be focussing on the professional tours instead to revive their rankings.
Moreover, it was already announced earlier that India’s top singles player Somdev Devvarman will not be defending the singles and men’s doubles gold medals he won four years ago in Guangzhou, China, citing the same reason.
“In respect of Asian Games, special circumstances have developed where it is necessary for the players to participate in ATP and WTA events to protect their rankings and to give the additional push to qualify for the year-end World Masters. Considering the important requirement of players, the AITA has decided to respect their requests and allow them to play the ATP/WTA tournaments so that they can have a respectable opportunity to represent the nation in the World Championships to be held at the end of the year.” All India Tennis Association (AITA) president Anil Khanna said in a statement sent across the media.
This means, the Indian tennis contingent will be without the likes of Leander Paes, a winner of eight men’s doubles and six mixed doubles Grand Slam titles and a renowned name in the Indian tennis fraternity.
Sania Mirza, who recently won the US Open mixed doubles title with Brazilian partner Bruno Soares, also pulled out of the Asian Games.
The Hyderabadi who is now a brand ambassador of the newly-formed Telangana region, opted to partner Cara Black in the WTA tournaments instead of carrying the Indian passion on foreign soil.
With that said, the Indian tennis won’t be assuring any medal hopes.
Expect the likes of Yuki Bhambhri, Vishnu Vardhan and Sanam Singh to make it to the main event. In the ladies front, Ankita Bhambri, Isha Lakhani or Ankita Raina could vie for a spot in the medal hunt. AITA may send in a low-profile named side to the Asian Games which could prove such a damper especially for the fans.
In all due respect to the trio mentioned above, representing your nation even if on a smaller scale, proves the true sportsmanship within a player.
But here, the trio have appealed to the ‘cash before nation’ situation.
If in case they lose in the latter, suffixing shame would be just an underrated word!