The infighting among Indian tennis has flared up again with Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna lashing out at veteran Leander Paes for his remarks on the country’s doubles teams at the last two Olympics.
Talking to the media forllowing India’s 0-5 loss to Spain in their Davis Cup World Group Play-off tie here, Paes ahd said: “I can very, very clearly say that at the past two Olympics, we didn’t put the best teams forward. This Olympics, the mixed doubles was a huge opportunity.”
The reference to the mixed doubles combination was a direct criticism of Sania and Bopanna’s performance at the Rio Olympics. They had lost in the semifinals before going down in the bronze medal play-off as well.
Leander Paes had said that the All India Tennis Association (AITA) had selected the wrong mixed doubles team, insisting that it should have been him and Sania instead.
India’s men’s doubles team at the 2016 Olympics comprised Paes and a reluctant Bopanna, whose original choice of partner was Saketh Myneni.
His views, however, evoked stinging responses from Sania and Bopanna.
“The ONLY way to win with a toxic person, is not to play!!! #karmaiswatching #zenmode,” Sania wrote on her Twitter handle.
Sania’s message was retweeted by Bopanna who also tweeted his displeasure later.
“At it again!! …the usual ploy to stay in the news by slanging fellow players in media. #Patriotism,” the doubles specialist wrote on Twitter.