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'Outburst against Mahesh pre-planned'
December 06, 2006 20:03 IST
Mahesh Bhupathi's camp on Wednesday reacted strongly to the "unethical" allegations made by Leander Paes after India's first round exit in the Asian Games team tennis event in Doha.
Paes accused his estranged doubles partner Mahesh Bhuapthi of not playing the game with honesty and coach Nandan Bal also joined him in the attack in the midst of the event on Tuesday.
Mahesh's father CGK Bhupathi termed Paes' comments as "unethical" and questioned Paes' commitment instead.
"It's not fair on the part of the captain to comment this way, it's unethical," Bhupathi Sr. said.
"How can one partner point a finger at the other and say they lost the match because of him? What if the other also stoops to that level," he fumed while choosing not to elaborate further on what happened on Tuesday.
Mahesh not holding the serve even once was a worrying factor for the coach but Bhupathi loyalists here argued how many times did Paes hold his serve and why did Bal hide it.
"The fact is the Indian captain held his serve only once. And from the eye witness account it is clear that about 20-25 volley errors from Leander contributed to Mahesh losing his service games," one of them said.
They also charged that the entire outburst had probably been pre-planned.
"Was the press conference by the coach and the captain pre-planned and the script ready before Leander executed the tanking of the match," they said while accusing Paes of repeating the tanking he had done at Athens Olympics bronze medal match, which the pair had lost.
"Anyone who has seen the tape of that tie will know that every time they were in a position to win a point and close out the match, Leander intercepted returns that were not even his to spoil the point. The motive clearly was to ensure that Mahesh doesn't get an Olympic medal."
The latest spat is bound to leave a bad taste in the mouth of the Indian tennis fans who only want the country's best tennis talent to do what they are best at -- win accolades for the nation -- and not wash their dirty linen in public.
The 'Indian Express' should concentrate on retaining the doubles gold they won in Busan four years ago and leave their personal issues aside.
Doha Asian Games 2006: The Complete Coverage