Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna are likely to face the axe for insisting on playing as a team, as the All India Tennis Association selection committee, it seems, has decided to send just one combination for the men's doubles at the Olympics, with Leander Paes being the first choice.
The committee meeting is still on, but the AITA has made it clear that Paes will be a part of the team. The other spot, said a source, was offered to Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna, but both insisted on being paired together and refused to compete in partnership with Paes.
"They had called Bhupathi to pair up with Paes but he has refused. Then they called Bopanna and he also refused to play with Paes," he added.
Thus, the AITA is likely to pair Paes with either Somdev Devvarman or a younger player, maybe Yuki Bhambri.
Somdev has not played competitive tennis almost from the start of the 2012 season due to a shoulder injury so his preparedness for the big event is not known.
Bhupathi and Bopanna, it is learnt, had told the AITA that they want to compete in the Olympics as a team and that's why they got together at the start of the year.
But Paes is the only player to make a direct cut into the men's doubles draw courtesy his top-10 spot in the ATP rankings.
Bhupathi and Bopanna too, with a combined ranking of 26, can easily enter the men's doubles draw but the AITA wants to pair one of them with Paes.