Leander Paes’ scathing remarks on India’s combinations for the last two Olympics after the Davis Cup tie against Spain in New Delhi received bitter responses from both Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna, who took to Twitter to express their anger.
Sania took an apparent dig at Paes without actually naming him, by writing: “The ONLY way to win with a toxic person, is not to play!!! #karmaiswatching #zenmode.”
Bopanna was among the hundreds who ‘retweeted’ her message. He later posted a message of his own, again without naming Paes. “At it again!! …the usual ploy to stay in the news by slanging fellow players in media. #Patriotism,” Bopanna tweeted.
Paes, after India lost 5-0 to Spain in the Davis Cup World Group play-off in New Delhi, said: “I can very, very clearly say that the past two Olympics, we didn’t put the best teams forward. This Olympics — the mixed doubles — was a huge opportunity.”
Sania and Bopanna had been picked to represent India at the Rio Games in mixed doubles. The duo lost in the semifinals before going down in the Bronze medal playoff as well. Paes said India sent the wrong team, insisting it should have been him and Sania instead. Bopanna and Paes played the men’s doubles competition but lost in the first round itself.
— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) 18 September 2016
At it again!! …the usual ploy to stay in the news by slanging fellow players in media. #Patriotism
— Rohan Bopanna (@rohanbopanna) 18 September 2016
At the 2012 London Olympics, Paes was partnered with Sania in mixed doubles despite the latter’s unhappiness at the pairing. Prior to those Games as well, AITA had a tough time selecting the team. Sania expressed her desire to partner Mahesh Bhupati but the AITA didn’t allow her. They selected the team and paired her with Leader which didn’t go well with Sania. The Indian pair lost in the second round of mixed doubles.