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Monday, 10 April 2017 16:01

Mahesh Bhupathi vs Leander Paes: Vace Paes wants early end between tennis legends

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New Delhi, Apr 10: Vace Paes, father of Leander Paes, on Monday expressed hope that the long-standing war between his son and non-playing Indian captain Mahesh Bhupathi will soon be sorted.

BhupathiThe rift between the country's two tennis stalwarts widened after Bhupathi dropped Paes and instead picked Rohan Bopanna in his final four-man team for Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group I tie against Uzbekistan.

Reflecting on the same, Paes' father, who is also a former international hockey player and sports medicine doctor, revealed that both players are trying to negotiate to stop criticising each other.

"Both sides are trying to negotiate to stop criticizing each other. As father, I can't comment on behalf of Leander. But the matter should be sorted out. It's good to stop these allegations," Vace said in a telephonic conversation with ANI.

Bhupathi had previously selected Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Prajnesh Gunneswaran and N. Sriram Balaji for the tie, and had kept both Paes and Bopanna as reserves in the squad.

Following Bhambri's withdrawal due to his knee injury, it was speculated that either of Paes and Bopanna would be included in the team as the fourth member.

However, Bhupathi ended Paes' hopes of making it to the Davis Cup squad by saying he wasn't willing to take the risk of playing Paes and N. Sriram Balaji together in such a high pressure game.

On Sunday, Bhupathi said he had no "personal agenda" in keeping Paes out of the Indian Davis Cup team and said his former partner's decision to leave Bengaluru mid-way into the tie was a final nail in the coffin.

"If I had a personal agenda against Leander then he wouldn't have been on the squad, but he was and unfortunately he was able to get to Bangalore on Tuesday night which is too late for him practice with anybody to be selected," Bhupathi had said.

"He should have been here on Monday, he knows that and that was one of the main criteria's. He was obviously playing well because he won the tournament, but for him not to practice with Bala before me announcing the team was very difficult for me to put him in," he added.

Bhupathi, citing his conversation with Paes through text messages, also said that he had always kept his estranged partner on the loop over the team probables for the tie up.

Paes, who was left out of the Davis Cup for the first time in 27 years, had lashed out at Bhupathi and accused him of flouting section criteria.

 

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