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Paes-Bhupathi doubles on
December 06, 2006 19:45 IST
Last Updated: December 06, 2006 20:47 IST
The drama over the Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi split culminated with the All India Tennis Association confirming in an official statement that the duo will play together in the men's doubles at the Asian Games in Doha. Rohan Bopanna and Mustafa Ghouse will make up India's second doubles team.
Another break-up was on the cards after Bhupathi furiously walked out after the training session on Wednesday morning. He was subjected to a trial session where his fitness was assessed by the team management.
Both Bhupathi and Paes worked out together at the session and were later seen in an animated conversation at the tennis complex in Doha. It was not known what the duo discussed but it was quite clear that they were not exchanging pleasantries.
After the session, when asked by mediamen whether he would be taking part in the doubles, Bhupathi quipped: "Ask the captain".
Paes had stirred a hornets' nest by questioning Bhupathi's commitment in the team event after the shock 1-2 defeat to Chinese Taipei and had asked his partner to rethink on whether he was serious in playing the doubles event.
Bhupathi's fitness was also questioned as he did not move as freely as he should have done on the court.
A top tennis official said that Paes and Bhupathi had frequent spats in the past but that never deterred them from putting their best on the court when playing for the country.
"These things have happened in the past, but it has never stopped them from winning on the court. Even when their relationship was at a low ebb, they have won medals for the country," he said.
Doha Asian Games 2006: The Complete Coverage