Bhupathi focussing on Australian Open

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi said that for the time being he is only focussing on the forthcoming Australian Open.

Updated: December 25, 2007 16:40 IST
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New Delhi:

After hinting a tie-up with his estranged doubles partner Leander Paes for the Beijing Olympics, tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi said on Saturday that for the time being he is only focussing on the forthcoming Australian Open.

"For the moment my focus is on the Australian Open and so I am practicing hard for it. Davis Cup and Olympics are far away," Bhupathi said on the sidelines of Apollo Tyres Mission 2018 Challenge's Delhi leg here.

In the Australian Open, Bhupathi will partner Mark Knowles of Bahamas in the doubles and will play the mixed doubles with Sania Mirza.

Earlier this week, Bhupathi said he has decided to put all the differences behind for the sake of national interest and is willing to patch up with Paes to play in the doubles event in Beijing to brighten India's medal chances. The next day, Paes also expressed his willingness to team with Bhupathi.

Asked whether he had spoken to Paes after the reunion news broke out, Bhupathi said: "No, I haven't spoken to Leander yet."

Bhupathi's relation with Paes touched a new low during the Asian Games in Doha last year after which the pair broke up. But the duo's decision to bury the hatchet has come as a huge relief for India, especially keeping in mind the upcoming Davis Cup tie against Uzbekistan here in February and Beijing Olympics in August.

The pair won three Grand Slam titles -- two at Roland Garros and one at the Wimbledon.

Asked who will carry India's flag at the international circuit after he and Paes call it a day, Bhupathi said: "Hopefully, Sania will bring many more laurels for the nation. Also there are very good players on the circuit like Rohan Bopana and Karan Rasogi.

"But you have to give them time to make their presence felt. Tennis is not like cricket that you can achieve success in a day. You have to be patient to succeed.

"Initially, Leander and I also struggled to make our mark as it is a very tough game. The youngsters are working hard and their hard work will bear fruit," he said.

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  • Tennis
  • Andy Roddick
  • Lukas Dlouhy
  • Rohan Bopanna
  • Leander Paes
  • Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi
  • Maria Sharapova

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