New Delhi: The Mahesh Bhupathi-Rohan Bopanna vs AITA fight has been going on for quite some time. And with Bhupathi expected to hit back hard at the Indian tennis body today in a press conference in Mumbai, the biggest question is just how deep is the rot in Indian tennis. Here is a look back at just how things went from bad to worse:
1. Either they play together or they don't play at all - that was what Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna told the All India Tennis Association after the Indian tennis body named a Leander-Mahesh combine on the 15th of June for the London Olympics.
2. 22nd June was the cut-off date for the names to be submitted to the International Olympic Committee for the Olympics. And with both Mahesh and Rohan refusing to partner Paes, the AITA was forced to name two different teams. Mahesh would play with Rohan and Paes was paired with youngster Vishnu Vardhan.
3. The Olympic outing was a disaster. Bhupathi and Bopanna crashed out in just the second round on July 31st, courtesy a straight sets loss to a pair of French wildcards.
4. Bhupathi and Bopanna then failed to win any tournament in the run-up to the US Open, where they suffered a first round exit.
5. The AITA, who had been called a toothless body for allowing the players to have their way for the Olympics, then decided to drop Bhupathi and Bopanna on disciplinary grounds for the Davis Cup tie vs New Zealand.
6. And after the youngsters pulled off a 5-0 win in that tie, the AITA Executive Committee decided to suspend Bhupathi and Bopanna till the June 30, 2014.
7. Bhupathi responded by saying, "I am just upset and afraid that my friend and partner Rohan has got caught in the middle of this dirty game. I have been quiet for a long time."