Paes dropped from Davis Cup after 27 years

A glorious tennis career approaches the end with Leander Paes dropped from the Indian Davis Cup team after a staggering 27 years

PTI Photo by Shailendra Bhojak
PTI Photo by Shailendra Bhojak

NH Web Desk

Tennis veteran Leander Paes on Thursday was dropped from the Indian Davis Cup team for the first time in 27 years. India’s non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi instead chose Rohan Bopanna to pair with Sriram Balaji in the second round tie against Uzbekistan beginning in Bengaluru tomorrow.

Bopanna is ranked 23rd in the world—34 spots above Paes. But Paes, who made his Davis Cup debut in 1990 has 42 Doubles wins in the Davis Cup, just one win away from the record for most Doubles wins in Davis Cup history.

Paes, who had flown in from Mexico for the tie, said on Thursday that he could have been saved the trouble if only a phone call had been made to him to inform that his services were not required.

While the captain had the right to choose his team, he quipped, the selection criteria should not change from “weekend to weekend, tie to tie, Olympics to Olympics”.

ESPN quoted him as saying “…the team was chosen two weeks ago based on ITF form in Futures. Whereas I just won an ATP Challenger. Also, as I always do my due diligence, as a thorough professional playing for the country, Bangalore's altitude is 920m. Mexico altitude is 1,800m+ -- which is double. When I got here yesterday morning for practice, I was feeling the ball very well, as you guys saw.”

"I think whatever the criteria are, it should be stuck by," Paes said. "At one time, it is based on rankings, the other time it is not based on ranking, it is based on likes and personal preferences. Then it is not personal preferences, it is based on who plays deuce court and ad court. Now it is based on form. "

Paes, who will play a Challengers tournament in Houston on Monday, has to catch another long flight to reach Houston, which he could have reached faster from Mexico.

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