Dear Leander Paes,
Like your billion fans worldwide, I too expected at least an Olympic medal, but all hopes diminished when the Polish pair of Lukas Kubot and Marcin Matkowski defeated Indian pair of Rohan Bopanna and Leander Paes at Men’s doubles (first round) event 6-4, 7-6.
The Rio Olympics was your world record 7th appearance at this prestigious sporting event. Representing one’s nation at Olympics is indeed a big achievement and I congratulate you for doing so so many times. But we are disappointed that your difference with Rohan Bopanna has seriously affected our medal prospects at Rio Olympics. As a veteran player, you should have shown more maturity.
A day before the Rio Olympics started you were playing a tournament in the USA. Instead, you should have flown to Rio De Janiero and get some good practice with your partner Rohan Bopanna. Certainly, we fans now feel that both of you should have kept your ego aside and tried your level best while representing the nation.
The controversies surrounding you and Rohan Bopanna should have been avoided in its first place. Honestly speaking, this was not a media created hullabaloo but a reality. Before the start of Rio Olympics, Rohan Bopanna had informed his displeasure to team up with you as a pair at Rio Olympics. But AITA (All India Tennis Association) overlooked his wish considering your pairing with Bopanna as the best bet. Although, you two weren’t too happy with the decision.
Leander Paes is Not Alone Responsible For Rio Olympics Performance
Being your fan and someone who follows Tennis so avidly, I just can’t put the entire blame on you only. Bopanna and AITA are equally responsible for this fiasco. If a country failed to perform at Olympics, then the blame should go to all players and association as well for taking abrupt decisions.
Holding you solely responsible for India’s Men’s Doubles team’s loss is completely vague. How on earth can we hold only Paes responsible for Rio Olympics failure? He is relentlessly spearheading India’s Tennis campaign for so many years all alone.
Leander Paes was the first Indian to win an Olympic medal after a long hiatus of four decades beating Fernando Meligeni at the Atlanta Olympics 1996. It’s only the sheer discipline that still kept Leander Paes, 43, going while other players of his age take retirement. I salute Leander Paes for his illustrated career.
Finally, I request AITA to give tennis players more liberty to choose their partner while representing the nation for events like the Rio Olympics. Unless the players share a good rapport having enormous trust between them, they can’t succeed as a team or pair. Winning and losing is a part of any game, but losing without putting any efforts is what has broken my heart into pieces.
A Disheartened Tennis Fan