India's Paes set for seventh Games

Sat Jun 11, 2016 7:27am EDT
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MUMBAI (Reuters) - Veteran Leander Paes, the winner of 18 grand slam titles, will make his seventh Olympic appearance after he was named as Rohan Bopanna's partner for the men's doubles by the All India Tennis Association on Saturday.

Bopanna, ranked 10th in the world, had picked world number 125 Saketh Myneni as his preferred partner, putting in doubt the fate of Paes, who last week won the French Open mixed doubles title with Martina Hingis.

"Committee decided that the best bet for Indian tennis to win a medal at the Olympics would be Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna," AITA chief Anil Khanna told reporters.

Bopanna said he admired Paes, who won a singles bronze medal at the Atlanta Games in 1996, but believed their styles of play were not complementary.

"The AITA Selection Committee has now made its decision after due consideration of my representation... I respect this decision and look forward to participating in Rio," Bopanna said in a statement.

Bopanna will pair up with Sania Mirza, the world's top-ranked women's double player, in the mixed doubles in Rio.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Ed Osmond)

Leander Paes of India plays with mixed doubles partner Martina Hingis of Switzerland during their finals match against Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sam Querrey of the U.S. at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, September 11, 2015.  REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton